Akon isn’t shy about his support for Tekashi 6ix9ine. The veteran Senegalese artist, who was expected to contribute to 6ix9ine’s 2018 album Dummy Boy, appeared on an Instagram Live session with DJ Whoo Kid earlier this week and admitted he still wants to be on a song with the controversial rapper — despite his soiled reputation.

“I’ma feature on that record,” Akon said around the 6:23-minute mark. “Matter fact, I’m about to call Tekashi right now and say yo, T, what we doin’? I’m ‘bout to get on that record. Listen, I’m me, nigga. You can’t beat me up. I’m getting on that record.

“That record probably be the hottest record that drop this year because of all that … Just think about all that surrounded this record. Even if you don’t like him, you gon’ get it, download it just out of curiosity.”

He added, “But believe me, Tekashi got my support. We gotta teach them though. We gotta be there for ’em, man. We can’t just pull a brother down when they down.”

Akon has stood up for 6ix9ine in the past. Last November, while 6ix9ine was still locked up, he sympathized with the 23-year-old’s predicament.

“That’s why I’m not so quick to judge him because I don’t know exactly what’s happening behind closed doors that may not be explained or maybe out to the public to know,” he said. “But as a man, you can only respect somebody that does what they think is best for them and their families. But at the same time you also got to know who you are doing business with if you are going to do something illegal.”

Akon is speaking from experience. Prior to his 2004 debut Trouble, Akon spent several months in jail after being convicted of felony gun possession. During an interview with HipHopDX last September, he explained how that time behind bars changed him.

“Those were dark moments,” he admitted. “You start to reflect on your life, the decisions that you make and why you made them. It was necessary ’cause you had moved a different direction. There were lot of questions I had to raise and the one thing I realized is that I would never be able to work a regular job ever again, and definitely not work with a Fortune 500 company unless I owned the company.

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“That changed my whole mind state to, ‘OK, now I’ve got to be an entrepreneur.’ I can’t think of working for someone ’cause once you fill out the application and ask you whether you’ve ever been a convicted felon, then you press ‘yes,’ you not getting the job.”

He continued, “So, how do I move forward without getting into trouble, getting back into the streets? That’s when I started following back on all my hobbies and things that I loved to do, and music became the one thing that I always attached myself with no matter what I went through. I created Konvict Music from there and there was no turning back.”