"Locked Up" is the debut single by the Senegalese rapper/singer Akon, which appears on his debut album, Trouble. The single was released in late 2004 or early 2005 and immediately earned him success, reaching top 10 in both the U.S. and the UK, but he was to enjoy even more success with the follow-up song "Lonely". The song reached #4 on the Official UK Singles Chart and #8 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming his first Top 10 hit in both countries. The song recounts Akon's alleged problems with the law, only the protagonist is a drug dealer. In the video, Akon is arrested after being caught getting drugs out of a laundromat by, "undercovers dressed as fiends". After being in jail, he describes what a bad place prison is, contrary to the idea that prison makes you tough, an idea popularized by rappers.
"Visitation no longer comes by, Seems like they forgot about me, Commissary is gettin empty, Cellmates gettin food without me,"
He then goes on to say that he cannot wait to get out and "Got a family that loves me and wants me to do right, but instead I'm here locked up." He then asks his kin and kith to send him magazines, money-orders, to visit him, ask where his lawyer is, accept his phone calls and "where're my niggaz on lockdown?" This song was a breakout hit for Akon in early 2004 and began to shape the future of his personal life and musical career.
A remix of the song (featuring the rapper Styles P) also exists on the single and album. This version features nods towards the UK prison system ("Locked up in HMP [Her Majesty's Prison]").
T-Pain later did a re-worked version of the song called "I'm Fucked Up", that got Akon's attention and he then signed him to his record label.
In 2005 the song was part of "Won't Let Me Out" by C-Murder.
The song debuted on BET's 106 & Park and it was several months later before it got popular.
|UK Singles Chart||4|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||8|
|U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs||6|
|France Single Chart||12|
|Australian Singles Chart||33|
|Irish Singles Chart||10|
|German Singles Chart||15|
|French Singles Chart||12|