K'Naan - Troubadour
I'm not usually one for listening to rap, hip-hop, and the like. But this year I've been trying to diversify a little bit. Going to see k-os in May was a start. My sister received this album from a friend. Seeing that it was short listed for the Polaris Music Prize raised my curiosity. After a few listens I must say it is very deserving. There are some catchy songs that are easy for most music listeners to get into, such as Wavin' Flag and Take A Minute. But its not these songs that have me hooked on the album. Its songs such as Somalia, T.I.A., and Dreamer that have attracted me to this album. This album paints an honest picture from an artist trying to communicate what is going on in his life as well as remembering where he came from and talking about the struggles of his country (Somalia). At times the images may be graphic and vulgar, but they are brutally honest.
This politically charged album is particularly interesting because it is a situation that I'm not too familiar with. The only time that Somalia has been in the newspaper was when an American Navy captain was taken hostage by pirates. The story talking about how the country is in the middle of a civil war and how the government had almost been overthrown was just a small paragraph on the side of a newspaper. So if the newspaper won't cover it, I guess a rapper like K'Naan is the one who will have to spread the news to the masses. It makes me uncomfortable though that the only way I have really learned about this situation is through an album.
A little info: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/country_profiles/1072592.stm