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Akon Talks About That Time He Passed on Signing Drake

Imagining an alternate universe where Drake is on Konvict Muzik with Lady Gaga and T Pain.

by Slava Pastuk
30 September 2015, 2:56pm

Of all the infinite timelines that exist in alternate universes, none are more interesting than the one where Drake signs to Akon's Konvict Muzik in 2008. If it had happened, Drake would've joined T-Pain and Lady Gaga, and musical history as we know it would be drastically different. For example, how would Drake streamlining for the pop music audience with Akon's help have impacted the hip-hop scene of 2015? Would the Migos have become commercially successful? Would Big Sean be seen as more cutting-edge, and therefore relevant? It's a fantasy scenario that can cause you to lose an afternoon deep in thought, but now he has proof that it could've actually happened. The story of Akon passing on Drake was first told by Kardinal Offishal in 2012, but now we have the news straight from Akon's mouth in a new interview with Montreality where he talks about how he didn't want to sign The 6 God.

Starting around the seven minute mark, Akon recounts how he heard about Drake. “Kardinal Offishal had brought me some records on Drake when I first signed him. This was before "Best I Ever Had," and yeah I did pass on it, because at the time he wasn’t sounding like what he was sounding like today, explains Akon. "He was still in a position where he was finding himself. I think he was turned down on so many times that it became his motivation."

But Akon says he doesn't regret the episode in the slightest. And why would he? Akon is one of the most successful commercial artists ever. The man has so much money, he is installing the infrastructure to light millions of homes throughout Africa. But still, imagine how much better the "Cashin' Out Remix" would've been if Akon added a Drake reference to the verse where he talks about having "T Pain around my wrist / Gaga around my neck."

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Slava Pastuk is the editor of Noisey Canada. Follow him on Twitter.