Culture

Akon Claims He And Michael Jackson Planned To Open Music Schools In Africa

In a recent conversation with TMZ, Akon claims that he and the late Michael Jackson planned to open schools across Africa.

Akon and the King of Pop had philanthropic plans before the latter died in 2009. In a recent conversation with TMZ, the “Locked Up” singer shared that he and Michael Jackson planned to open music schools in Africa.

“It started off as a concept, me and Mike was actually speaking about creating music universities all throughout Africa,” he told TMZ. “I’m giving them the tools, the instruments, the knowledge of the business. Just kind of help them with facilities that help them polish up their skills, because Africa got so much talent. This is one of the main motivations when I went into Nigeria back then, the whole start and support all those young artists for afrobeat and things like this.”

Akon added that the schools “haven’t happened yet” but was a strategy that he wants to “follow-up on.” When the TMZ interviewer asked if he would proceed with the plan due to Jackson’s complicated legacy, Akon confirmed that he would.

“If people knew who he really was and understood the story behind it, that wouldn’t be a legacy question like you know what Mike did for the culture,” Akon said. It shouldn’t even be a thought, but ultimately the powers that be in America work a little different when it comes to Black and brown people.”

In 2007, Akon collaborated with Jackson on “Hold My Hand,” featured on Jackson’s 2010 posthumous album Michael. Akon last spoke about opening music schools in Africa as part of his $4 billion initiative Akon City.

“Even in Akon City in the educational district the first one will be built in there and I’m naming it after the Michael Jackson Foundation,” he recently told HipHopDX. “So I’m gonna be naming it MJ University.”

In June 2009, Jackson died of cardiac arrest after being given a lethal combination of sedatives and propofol from his personal physican Conrad Murray. In 2011, Murray was charged of involuntary manslaughter, serving two years in prison on a four-year sentence, released on parole in October 2013.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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