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Somalian Rapper K’Naan Consoles Himself With Music

“I’m a circumstantial musician,” newcomer K’Naan tells the Boombox about how he started making music. “Mainly I am trying to console myself from past ordeals…difficult experiences.” The emcee came to the United States from Somalia when he was 14 years old and the war-torn country, to this day, remains his biggest inspiration.

Indeed, his music, which is a blend of hip-hop, reggae, African rhythms and folk, tells the story of people who have endured pain, exile and violence. The emcee paints a vibrant picture of his experiences and the distress of war on the track ‘If Rap Gets Jealous’ off his upcoming album, ‘The Dusty Foot Philosopher Deluxe Edition,’ which will be released for the first time in the U.S. on June 24.

“I’m poor, a refugee been in prison and survived a war/I come from, the most dangerous city in this universe/You’re likely to get shot at birth, so how could rap quench my thirst?,” the rapper proclaims as he questions his desire to be an emcee in the midst of his harsh reality.
But K’Naan believes that making music to tell stories is a good way to spread the word about what happens to people in places around the world unfamiliar to them. “If you’re going to make music I think it should contribute in some way,” he said. “It doesn’t have to change the world, it could just be a good melody.”

His music is more than just a good melody. K’Naan makes music that tells about the lives of people who have suffered as he and his family have. “My experiences aren’t just mine,” he said. “It’s just that I can articulate them in English.”

K’naan will join Kanye West, Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco and a slew of others at the Bonnaroo Music Festival, which will take place June 12-15 in Manchester, Tennessee.

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