19 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

The third major-label album from Somalian/Canadian artist K'Naan, (following the critically acclaimed The Dusty Foot Philosopher and live follow-up The Dusty Foot On the Road), Troubadour is another collection of mostly upbeat joints that fuse rap, rock, pop, reggae, and global activism, with several triumphant African-pride tracks ("T.I.A." and "Somalia") as well as a great romantic number ("Fatima") and a comical tale of the broke, struggling artist ("15 Minutes Away"). Genre-wise, the music flows over rap and rock beats, adding hooks, breaking heads and breaking hearts with his story of survival growing up in Mogadishu. Fittingly, the featured guests are an extraordinarily diverse bunch, including Damian Marley, Metallica bassist Kirk Hammett, old-school rapper Chubb Rock, and Adam Levine from Maroon 5. Other key tracks include "Dreamers," "ABC’s," and "America" with Mos Def and Chali 2na.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The third major-label album from Somalian/Canadian artist K'Naan, (following the critically acclaimed The Dusty Foot Philosopher and live follow-up The Dusty Foot On the Road), Troubadour is another collection of mostly upbeat joints that fuse rap, rock, pop, reggae, and global activism, with several triumphant African-pride tracks ("T.I.A." and "Somalia") as well as a great romantic number ("Fatima") and a comical tale of the broke, struggling artist ("15 Minutes Away"). Genre-wise, the music flows over rap and rock beats, adding hooks, breaking heads and breaking hearts with his story of survival growing up in Mogadishu. Fittingly, the featured guests are an extraordinarily diverse bunch, including Damian Marley, Metallica bassist Kirk Hammett, old-school rapper Chubb Rock, and Adam Levine from Maroon 5. Other key tracks include "Dreamers," "ABC’s," and "America" with Mos Def and Chali 2na.

TITLE TIME
3:38
3:09
4:32
4:09
3:03
3:39
3:40
3:33
4:45
5:01
4:36
4:06
4:56
6:17
3:30
3:32
3:52
3:54
2:48

About K'naan

Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, just as the civil unrest that rocked the country was beginning, rapper K'NAAN spent the early years of his life trying to avoid death and listening to the hip-hop records sent to him from America by his father, who had left Somalia earlier. When K'NAAN (whose name means "traveler" in Somali) was 13, he, his mother, and his two siblings were able to leave their homeland and join relatives in Harlem, where they stayed briefly before moving to Rexdale, Ontario, where there was a large Somali community. As soon as his English started improving he began rapping, and in tenth grade he dropped out of school and traveled around North America for two years, performing occasionally. Through his friendship with Sol Guy, part of promotion team Direct Current Media, K'NAAN was able to perform at the United Nations' 50th anniversary concert in 1999, held in Geneva, where he used his platform to publicly criticize the United Nations' handling of the Somali crisis in the 1990s. One of the audience members, Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour, was so impressed by the young MC's performance and courage that he invited him to contribute to his 2001 album Building Bridges, a project through which K'NAAN was able to tour the world. In 2002, he met Jarvis Church, part of the Track and Field Productions team that helped propel Nelly Furtado to fame, a connection that eventually led to a record. The Dusty Foot Philosopher came out in Canada in 2005, and was followed with tour spots with Mos Def and Talib Kweli, as well as a performance at Live 8. In 2007, the live album On the Road appeared and then, two years later, the album Troubadour became K'NAAN's first for the major-label A&M. After his track "Wavin' Flag" became the anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, his More Beautiful Than Silence EP arrived in 2012. ~ Marisa Brown

  • ORIGIN
    Mogadishu, Somalia
  • BORN
    Feb 1, 1978

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