I have recently started listening to the 4th release from an artist from Somalia named K’naan.The album is called Troubadour. K’naan’s music is socially minded hip hop which focuses on the troubles of Africa without being overly hippy hip hop like so many other “positive hip hop artists.” (There is almost nothing as bad as hippy hop, damn dirty hippys)  It kinda seems like when listening to an artist who grew up in Somalia during so much turmoil which most of us watched on television, that you would expect him to write music about the plight of Africa and would be disappointed if he didn’t sing about his experiences in Africa. K’naan not singing about Africa is kinda like Bob Marley not writing songs about Jamaica. Its the world he knows, its his frame of reference. It also seems more relevant that K’naan writes music about Africa being that he is someone who lived it instead of someone who is just wants to talk about it like Mos Def or Kanye West or someone like that. (Funny that I mention Mos Def because he is featured on the latest album, “Troubadour”, on one of the best songs) You should check out his music, it raises a bit of social awareness without being overly preaching and for a musician that takes on topics with so much weight his music is surprisingly upbeat and fun and easy to listen to.

Photo by James Minchin

Photo by James Minchin


Suggested Songs for Beginners- Waving Flags and ABC’s.


~ by rpfeiffe on April 20, 2009.

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