Last month, the artist and entrepreneur received backlash for a statement he made in the wake of actor Michael K. Williams’s death. The “Soul Survivor” musician used the “Lovecraft Country” star’s death as proof that the more money someone makes, the more problems they accumulate.
Gossip website TMZ caught up with the “Locked Up” singer outside of the Los Angeles Internationship Airport where he doubled down on last month’s remarks, this time citing his personal journey of living in poverty and ultimately becoming a worldwide success.
“Nobody can sit there and tell me, that I didn’t go through poverty,” the 48-year-old began. “I was the young African kid, barefoot and playing soccer in the village with no electricity, no running water, I knew what that looked like – believe me, I know what poverty looks like.”
He continued, “But I also know what success looks like and from my personal experience, I’m having more problems successfully dealing with all that comes with success than I had when I was poor,” said the star, who was born in St. Louis, Missouri, but raised in Senegalese. “I was actually happier when I was poor.”
The “Don’t Matter” singer went on to apologize for the commotion that ensued in the wake of his commentary. He also apologized “to those that felt those comments affected or emotionally put them in a position that made it seem like I was arrogant.”
Akon said he essentially misspoke, and that he didn’t “calculate that there’s more people on Earth than there are successful people and not everyone has experienced what I’ve experienced.”
Still, the producer doesn’t believe money is the “cure” for all problems.
As previously reported, Williams, who was nominated this year for the best supporting actor in a drama series Primetime Emmy for his performance as Montrose Freeman on HBO’s “Lovecraft Country,” died suddenly on Monday, Sept. 6 . He was found in his Brooklyn, New York, apartment by a relative.
The medical examiner’s office reported that the beloved “The Wire” actor died of an “acute intoxication by the combined effects of fentanyl, p-fluorofentanyl, heroin and cocaine.” He was 54.
In the days after his untimely death, Akon spoke on the passing of his “really good friend,” later stating that the actor’s death was indicative of a larger issue anong the rich and famous.
Akon claimed that the pressures that came with being held to a higher and more critical standard usually caused the rich to “go through more issues than the poor.” He added, “The famous and the rich go through more issues than the poor. You know when they say ‘More money, more problems,’ that’s a real thing.”