Taking a break from throwing people off stages, dry-humping children and giving kids vouchers for sex toys, Akon has decided to exercise his social conscience:
R&B star Akon has launched a song to commemorate the victims of the slave trade, past and present.
He debuted "Blood Into Gold" at the United Nations, New York, on Wednesday - the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery.
He is, of course, on a mission:
"I will do my part to spread the word - a lot of my US friends are not aware of the history [of slavery]," he said.
"[Slavery] is a big situation for us - the younger generation."
But you just said that a lot of your friends are not aware of it? Although quite what "a big situation for us" means isn't entirely clear, so perhaps the not being aware of it is the big situation.
It's actually a bit of a shame - clearly, Akon is quite genuine about his desire to connect with history, but just lacks any insight or the ability to process any thoughts on the subject at all:
"It's very important for me because it was the slaves that opened the door for me personally.
"Seeing how far we've come, I'm honoured to be a part of it and I will do my part to spread that word.
"As people, we should stop using each other for money purposes."
Perhaps you should find someone else's words to spread, Akon.
Actually he has, as, wisely, the organisers didn't put him in charge of the song:
On "Blood Into Gold" he collaborates with Emmy-award winning musician Peter Buffett, who was asked by the non-profit organisation, Culture Project, to write a song for the "Breaking the Silence, Beating the Drum" event.
Akon summed up his thoughts succinctly:
“You know, when you reflect on slavery, and you reflect on modern day, just how we are living together, this could have never happened, years, you know how we remember it. And just to be moving in a forward light in the future to see Mr. Obama becoming the president, and how far we even took to become a unit as people to make a decision of that, you know, magnitude, it’s just incredible.”
That was the best quote that the UN could find for their press release. At the same event was Niles Rodgers:
“I grew up and I didn’t really have a voice, my mother didn’t have a voice, I didn’t have a voice, and today I walk into the General Assembly. I am standing on stage with people who just to me are amazing and I realize that the power of music and the power of art and the power of dance, gives me the ability to communicate a message that is bigger than I could have ever imagined.”
At the same event was Gilberto Gil:
“One of the obligations of the human race is to constantly struggle for harmony, you know, understanding, balance, peace, and so many, many, many words that we can use to define this necessity, this perennial necessity of being together, living together, taking care together of our planet.”
How was it that Akon ended up being pushed in front of the microphone?