Born in Somalia at a time of great civil unrest, one can only imagine just how much dreaming rapper K'naan did growing up. If this track doesn't serve as the perfect ode to keeping hopes and dreams alive, I don't know what does.
The name alone conjures up images of unbridled destruction, merciless warlords and ruthless terror. A place where nobodychildren, the elderly, religious figuresis safe from the atrocities of war, and where the idea of childhood, where 8-year olds handle AK-47s like toys, exists in chronological terms alone. When Forbes magazine recently unveiled their Most Dangerous Destinations, Somalia, above Iraq and Afghanistan, topped the list.
But its also The Nation of Poets, where a poem can both inspire peace and end wars. Where every weekend, regardless of the climate, one can find a play or concert at a local theatre.
Growing up, it was both of these Somalias that informed musician/emcee KNAAN Warsame, whose sophomore album Troubadour will be released in January 2009. The grandson of Haji Mohamed, one of Somalias most famous poets, and nephew of famed Somali singer Magool, the emcee is creating his own musical path through reggae, funk, pop, soul and, above all, hip-hop.
Recorded primarily in Kingston, Jamaica where KNAAN was granted unprecedented access by his friends Stephen and Damian Marley to their father Bob Marleys original home studio at 56 Hope Road and the legendary Tuff Gong studios Troubadour is a hip-hop album like no other. KNAAN successfully blends samples and live instrumentation for a sound thats both rooted in traditional African melodies and the classic hip-hop tradition.