Miami blinks and breathes in Akon and Becky G's new video for "Como No." Plátanos dangle in the sunlight of a smoothie shop, and just minutes away, a restaurant staff poses for a quick picture before heading back in to bus tables and take orders — battered fish and coffee in Cuban-flag mugs. It's another sunrise, another relaxing day in the sweltering heat of the city. But today, relief comes via "Como No," which invites the community into a hot celebration fueled by reggaeton's energy.
"Como No" follows Akon's May release "Get Money" with Anuel AA sung in both Spanish and English. But "Como No" is entirely sung in Spanish, Akon's first song of its kind. "The inspiration for the song came from me just wanting to do a great Latin record," Akon tells MTV News over the phone. To craft it, the singer first met with producers that he wanted to work with. "Then I lay all melodies down before any words so we can hear the idea of the song before anything else is added," he says.
Afterward, he brings in Spanish-speaking writers to craft the necessary words that explain what he's talking about. Then he blends everything together. Getting Becky G for the record was just the icing on the cake. "I've been a huge fan of Becky G for a long time and I always wanted to do something with her," he says, revealing that he "could hear her tone all over it." He sent over the song and she loved it.
The first thing to notice about the "Como No" video, airing all day Friday (September 6) on mtvU and MTV Live, is the crowd that livens every scene, organically vibing and shaking to the sensual singing. These aren't actors. "The crowd just naturally gathered around, dancing to the song," Akon says. "By the time that the record played three or four times, they were already singing along to it." It's not hard to see why. From Akon's unique, heartfelt voice to Becky G's alluring singing, there's a lot to love.
"Como No" is the first song from Akon's forthcoming album, El Negreeto, an entire project in Spanish that will feature Ozuna, Anitta, Farruko, Anuel AA, and more. "The name [of the album] means 'The Dark One,' which everyone in the Latin American music community calls me," he says. "Everyone on the album is a friend that I've either come up within the business, might have mentored, helped, or even collaborated with in the past. I wanted to surround myself with legitimate Latinx artists who are successful. That made the music more authentic and made sure that they saw that I took the time and listened to the content of other artists."
El Negreeto is the first of four new albums that Akon plans to release. Each one will dip into a different genre, and El Negreeto kicks things off with reggaeton. "I also have Akonda, which is Afrobeat, that's a showcase of where I'm from," he says. "I wanted to do a record to signify today's wave in Africa. Being a part of artists' careers like Wizkid, Davido, and P-Square, and seeing the fruition into such a huge phenomenon, there's no way that we could have let this pass without putting out an album."
Aside from Akonda, he's hesitant to reveal too much more, choosing to surprise fans as release dates grow closer. "I'm in a position that I can do music that I really want to do with no restrictions and fulfill my passion in a free way," he says about the creativity going into the new releases.
For now, though, he's all in on the mesmerizing and easygoing "Como No" and the reggaeton atmosphere that brings the song to life. Akon is more than optimistic about the future of the genre — he's ecstatic to see just how big it will grow. "I think it's going to be huge because the Latin market is very big," he says. "The beautiful part about it is that they support each other's music."