New Releases: K’Naan Brings Global Voice to Hip-Hop With ‘Troubadour’
Somalian rapper K’Naan hits listeners with his second studio album ‘Troubadour,’ inspired by the stifled global voice that he feels his home country lacks. As a child K’Naan found refuge in hip-hop music and unleashes an album rich with the artistic freedom that the culture is known for.
‘T.I.A. (This is African)’ is a space aged up-beat shot trimmed with political focus. ‘T.I.A.’ is heavily inspired by the music of the continent with omnipresent rips and drum funky eclecticism. ‘ABC’s’ featuring hip-hop pioneer Chubb Rock addresses how street life becomes and anecdote for the lack of proper education.
Other notables are the refreshingly egotistic ‘I Come Prepared’ and ‘If Rap Gets Jealous’ which includes a surprising electric guitar chords underneath the sleek chorus. “If rap gets jealous, cuz I rock heavy, it don’t worry me, mother—-ers don’t get it. Yo if rap gets jealous, cuz of where I’m headed, I used to be public enemy don’t forget it,” he rhymes.
The big-band influenced ‘America,’ featuring Mos Def, is a duel language infusion that is as risky as it is refreshing. Underneath bare drums K’Naan works to expose parallel injustices in both his homeland and the U.S.
‘Troubadour’ holds weight among other debuts in that K’Naan is working to open America’s eyes to a ghetto outside its 50 states. Though it may not be categorized as hip-hop by mainstream standards he garners praise for tackling universal issues while keeping a firm grip on his East African heritage.