Something about rapper K'naan caught my attention the first time I heard his voice grace the airwaves of the CBC. It was one of those moments where you force yourself to completely refocus just so you don't miss a word. Unfortunately, I didn't know who the artist was at the time and so I settled in to wait until our paths crossed again... Over the radio, anyway.
K'naan's album The Dusty Foot Philosopher actually came out quite a while ago, but continues to pick up steam. And rightfully so. K'naan combines mesmerizing storytelling with world-spanning rhythms and infectious melodies.
Although living in Canada now, K'naan was raised in Mogadishu, Somalia, which he calls one of the most dangerous cities in the world. After reading about some of his childhood experiences (thanks to the album's liner notes), it's hard to disagree. Knowing this history also makes a song like "If Rap Gets Jealous" hit you ten times harder than it already does.
[mp3] K'naan - If Rap Gets Jealous
[mp3] K'naan - What's Hardcore?
* Visit K'naan online
* Buy K'naan - The Dusty Foot Philosopher