Akon used to claim he was “an African prince”
(Credit: Wikimedia)


Akon used to claim he was “an African prince”

In a recent appearance on the Drinks Champ podcast, Senegalese-American rapper and singer Akon revealed that when he was in high school, he used to claim he was an “African prince.”

Speaking with the hosts Noreaga and DJ EFN, the vocalist (real name Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam) admitted that he was inspired by the 1988 Eddie Murphy comedy Coming To America. 

Thiam unveiled that he did it because he was desperate to assimilate when he arrived in the US. The singer was born to Senegalese parents in St. Louis, Missouri. However, he spent a lot of time in Senegal as a child and had no family in America. As such, he revealed he has always thought of the West African nation as his real home.

Admitting he found it hard to make friends, Thiam told the hosts he would lie about being an “African prince” while living in New Jersey out of desperation because “he wanted to feel accepted.”

Delving into the details of the princely façade he maintained as a child, Thiam elaborated, “I used the excuse that I was a survivor because it made me feel better about it.” He continued, “But there was nothing for me to survive because my parents were actually really wealthy. “

Revealing his living conditions weren’t abysmal growing up in the States, Thiam continued, “I was living in New Jersey. We lived in a three-story house, just me and my older brother. So when I think about it, we were just bored as hell.”

After explaining how his name and heritage made him feel foreign and estranged from other Black Americans, the ‘Lonely’ singer admitted, “I think a lot of my choices came from wanting to be accepted, you know? So that’s how I got caught into all the things that I got caught into, including cars. Because cars made me feel special. I was young, I could drive with the most elite vehicles, and I ran with the scenario that I was an African prince.”