Akon Steps Aside For Protege T-Pain, “I’m Never Gonna Jump In Front Of His Shine”


With the release of T-Pain‘s third studio album, Thr33 Ringz, tomorrow SOHH caught up with the self-proclaimed ringleader’s label head Akon, to find out how he feels about being surpassed by his protégé.


SOHH asked Pain a while back to explain his strange choice for the album title.

“The Thr33 Ringz concept is ’cause the industry is just like a circus,” Pain previously told SOHH.  “You got the strong men, tattooed dudes, bearded ladies, elephants, tigers, all kinds of dumb crap.”

In keeping with the circus concept, the top hat wearing “rappa ternt sanga” has deemed himself the ringleader.  In 2007 he had eleven number one songs and collaborated with everyone from Chris Brown (“Kiss, Kiss”) to Flo Rida (“Low”).  He even took home a Grammy Award for his “Good Life” duet with Kanye West.

But if T-Pain takes the ringleader title where does that leave Akon, the man who gave Pain a record deal and was once the go to man for hooks?

“Me, I’m the trainer and the manager,” Kon told SOHH. “I will book the show and T-Pain will lead the rings.  He leads the ring period. I just over look the tent.  I put the tent up and then I allow you to go in there and showcase your art.”

According to the Konvict Muzik CEO, he is content to step back and let T-Pain take the spotlight.  In fact, he would prefer if all of his artists became more famous then him.

“I know my place, they know they place and that’s why we are successful and we continue to move forward,” Akon said.  “One thing I’m never going to do is try to jump in front of his shine.”

“The whole purpose of why I even signed any of our acts is because I always wanted them to be more successful than me,” he explained. “That’s the goal.  It only makes me bigger when an artist that’s attached to me is hugely successful.”

T-Pain’s new album, Thr33 Ringz hits stores tomorrow.  It features guest appearances by Lil’ Wayne, Ludacris, and more.

[For more on your favorite R&B artists peep SOHH Soulful]

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