MIAMI — It was all about sex and sand on the set of Akon's new video "Don't Matter." Instead of using a million video chicks as extras on a beach right outside South Beach, 'Kon kept it pretty intimate with just one chocolate-skinned honey.
In the clip, he sings to her while driving a jeep with no doors or roof and while they both lay on the beach, covering each other with sand. It's all good until it's time to go in the water. See, it's not the normal 80-plus degrees in South Florida today — it's more like the low to mid-70s, which means the water temperature is somewhere between freeze-your-buns-off and human-icicle.
"Trust me, Akon," the skeptical lady said with a smile as she lured him into the ocean. A few minutes later, he carried her into the water in his arms and they both ended up waist-deep in the water with waves crashing on them as they embrace.
"It's pretty much my love story," 'Kon said later in the day, standing in front of a yellow Lamborghini Gallardo, just like the one he talks about in his song "Smack That." Akon is all cleaned up, and the canary-yellow diamonds in his "Konvict" chain match the vehicle.
"Me and this chick, we're together, but nobody wants to see us together," he said of the song and video. "You know how everybody goes through that relationship stage where y'all happy, but everybody around you ain't happy? 'Oh, man, he ain't no good,' or, 'She's a ho.' Whatever it may be, they have an excuse why that person ain't good for you. That's how the whole concept of the song came about. But for the video, me and her took a little vacation. We wanted time alone trying to get away from all the inner-city stuff [and] people talking about our situation. Spend time with each other, really appreciate what we have. We take a trip to the tropics and do what we do."
In real life, 'Kon won't have any time for vacation for a few months since he'll be traveling with another pretty lady. Akon will open for Gwen Stefani on her Sweet Escape tour, which runs from April through the end of June (see "Gwen Stefani Makes 'Big' Plans For Spring Sweet Escape Tour"). Akon thanks Jimmy Iovine, CEO of Interscope Records (Stefani's label), for setting him up with Gwen in the studio. The singer/songwriter/producer recently started an imprint with Interscope and had been working with some of the label roster. Iovine asked Akon about working with the "Hollaback Girl."
"I said, 'Hell yeah!' " said Akon, who appears on Stefani's latest single, "Sweet Escape." "Once me and Gwen met, it was like we've known each other for years, like that [collaboration] was supposed to happen. It was crazy. Once I got the call, I started doing background, checking up on No Doubt [all the way] to her solo project. I'm going through all those records and trying to figure out what's missing from what she's doing today. The sound she had back then [during No Doubt] that made her so big, it wasn't incorporated into this album. So we sat down and Gwen had a whole bunch of ideas. She had a clothing line, she's got all kinds of stuff going on. She wanted to incorporate all that into the record.
"We were trying to figure out words we could use to incorporate all that into the record and coincide with what she was doing as far as imaging and marketing her brands," he continued. " 'Sweet Escape' was a perfect title for her. Once she heard the beat, we sat down and came up with collaborative ideas and started writing."