Akon‘s statements in the wake of actor Michael K. Williams‘ sudden death have drawn backlash from fans after the artist and businessman used the “Lovecraft Country” actor’s passing as proof that the rich have it tougher in life than the poor.
Williams, 54, was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment on Monday, Sept. 6 by a family member. “The Wire” actor’s untimely death is currently being investigated as a possible drug overdose, and the “Locked Up” artist expressed that his “really good friend”s tragedy is a symptom of a larger issue that plagues the rich.
“There’s just too many of us going down like that and I think when moments like this happen we all gotta reflect, cause we’re all going through things in our lives … and making decisions that actually affects not only us and our life but everyone that surrounds and looks up to us,” Akon told TMZ.
“Just reach out and check on each other because we never really know what we’re going through,” he continued. “You know, this business creates this, like, environment where everyone’s wearing a mask, no one tells you what really is going on in your life, so real friends can’t even really advise you cause we don’t really know what’s happening cause we put on this facade of success but yet behind the face there’s so much happening.”
The “Smack That” singer explained that the inner turmoil that comes from being expected to look and be happy causes the rich to “go through more issues than the poor.” “The famous and the rich go through more issues than the poor,” he said. “You know when they say ‘More money, more problems,’ that’s a real thing.”
Fans weren’t quite sold on the realness of those problems, however, and fired back at Akon over his comparison.
“Rich people go through MORE than people who literally have no resources? This was so tone-deaf.”
“Most rich people problems are the ones they create for themselves”
“People need to learn you don’t have to say everything that comes to your mind … cus this was not it.”
Regardless of social status, Akon also encouraged those dealing with drug abuse to “just let it go” and figure out “other ways to cope,” although he didn’t acknowledge the challenge that getting clean presents. “I would advise anyone who’s on any kind of drugs to just let it go. There’s other ways to cope with issues and challenges in your life besides drugs and alcohol.”