Prior to his successful singing career, Akon spent three years in jail for car theft. In an interview with Clayton Perry on Blogcritics Magazine
, the Sengalese artist said that getting locked up was a turning point. He explained: "Sitting there in jail, I thought, 'Oh, my life can't be like this. There's got to be another way.' You know what I'm saying? That's when I even got the idea of making a record called "Locked Up," creating a new vision for the future, like, 'When I get out, this is what I plan to do.' It opened up doors for other things that I wanted to do. Music was relevant at that point. That's when I knew exactly what time it was."