"Locked Up" is the debut single by American singer Akon, taken as the lead single from his album, Trouble. The single was released in 2004, peaking at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Outside the United States, "Locked Up" peaked within the top 10 of the charts in the Republic of Ireland and the UK.
Although it was widely regarded that "Lonely" offered the album's best option in terms of commercial breakthrough and lead single as well as 1st single, SRC A&R and producer Knobody chose "Locked Up" as the 1st and lead single because he wanted to break Akon in the streets 1st, and then cross-over. In an interview for HitQuarters, he claimed: "Locked Up" is a street record. I thought that was the place for us to start to get a fan-base, knowing that weight. We thought really carefully about the record, what touches people and will get people's attention – so we added references of his kin and kith sending him magazines, money-orders, to visit him, ask where his lawyer is, accept his phone calls and ask "where're my niggaz on lockdown." The song was designed a breakout hit for Akon, something that could shape the future of his personal life and widely successful musical career. I worked on what I call "drops" – points in the record where it feels different, to break the monotony and make it a little more interesting."
Knobody produced an alternate of the song, featuring Styles P, which appears as both a B-side on the single and as a bonus track on the UK version of the album. In 2004, T-Pain sampled the song in a parody recording "I'm Fucked Up", which became a main factor in him getting signed to Konvict Kartel. In 2005, the song was sampled in the track "Won't Let Me Out" by C-Murder. A music video was produced to promote the single. The video was directed by FlyyKai, and was edited to both the album version and the remix featuring Styles P. The French CD single also has a remix featuring French rapperBooba, which is also Akon's favorite "Locked Up" remix.