[artist id="1240040"]Akon[/artist] and [artist id="505960"]Quincy Jones[/artist] love to crack jokes on each other. On the set of the video for the remake of "Strawberry Letter 23," Kon started the jesting by claiming he'd introduced Jones to a plethora of pretty women.
"You know that's not true," the legendary producer said, prompting a chuckle from Akon. Then, when Kon called the legendary producer "Uncle Q," Jones insisted that the two men were the same age.
Akon is one of many stars to have contributed to the LP Q: Soul Bossa Nostra, which is due sometime this spring or summer. The collection of performers and producers will deliver renditions of some of Jones' greatest hits.
"Timbaland brought the idea," Jones told MTV News of the project. "Three or four years ago, we talked about [it]. Then he said everybody should be involved in this. And one by one, in various ways, it started to be what God wanted it to be. I ran into this brother [Akon] and he picked the song I wanted him to do anyway."
"He was my mentor without even knowing he was my mentor," explained Akon, who last worked with Jones for "We Are the World: 25 for Haiti.". "He was like, 'Look man, I want you to be part of this album. There's no way we can do this album without you being a part of it. I said, 'Can I do "Strawberry Letter 23"?' He said, 'Man, look, that's what I had in mind for you.' He gave me the freedom to do what I wanted to do.
"The song, it's more about feeling to me," Kon added. " 'Cause as far as the lyrical content, that's way beyond my generation. I'm still trying to understand everything it meant."
"Strawberry Letter 23," a song by Shuggie Otis, was recorded by the Brothers Johnson for their 1977 album, Right on Time, produced by Jones.
"It is [opaque]. Its imagery ... abstract imagery. It was abstract back then," Jones agreed. "[Akon] did it. Talk about impeccable taste. That's why it's the first single."
Akon loved the song so much, he'd sampled the record at least three or four times prior to meeting Jones. In the video, the singer is seduced by a woman.
"I been shooting all morning," Kon said. "The concept of the video is almost like the concept of the song. It's about receiving a letter, but the letter is scented in a strawberry scent, and it happens to be the 22nd letter or 23rd letter. In the video, I'm receiving it from this beautiful admirer. I go through this fantasy world, this garden, and I'm following her through it. I actually get to meet her."
The roster of artists and producers slated to contribute to the album includes Snoop Dogg, Jermaine Dupri, Scott Storch, Trey Songz, Robin Thicke, Tevin Campbell, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson and Ludacris.
What's your favorite Akon collaboration? Let us know in the comments!