“Troubadour” Review

2 05 2009

This album like a portal to Africa. In every song I felt the continent. It is a rap album but completely different from anything I have heard ever. It is amazing to think rap evolved from the sorrow songs of slaves but rap from Africa, at least when it comes to rhythm, sounds so happy. You maybe be asking yourself but who’s album is this? The rappers name in Knaan. He is from Somalia so he has seen true poverty and pain, which are unlike the diluted version of these ills that we have in this country. I was very excited to listen to this alum just because it is from a different perspective than mine. 

knaan-abcs

The first song is called T.I.A. (This is Africa), I liked the reference to Blood Diamonds here. Listening to the lyrics though it was not what I expected. He references child soldiers, the disconnection of rappers from true gangsters and the heat in Africa without being depressed. He made it fun. This was strange to me I was expecting and wanting this sad album full of horrible things that happened is Africa. This is not what I got. I had to get used to this, maybe that is the reason I didn’t like the first couple tracks. When “Bang Bang” began I was thinking to myself am I going to like at least one song here. The familiar voice of Adam Levine on this song really helped put my initial guard down. The next couple of songs were great. Especially “If Rap Gets Jealous” which has a guitar rift from the great Kirk Hammett from Metallica. 

The album is a mix easy listening summer songs that have political commentary like “Freedom”. All in all a very different album. It is definitely more for college kids with political aspirations than super hip hop heads. I say that very lightly though because label suck and all that. K’naan is more a poet/activist than he is a rapper but he is still lyrically smart when you press play.

Favorite Lines:

I take rappers on a field trip any day They never been opposite real clip anyway I know where all the looters and the shooters say Welcome to the city we call Doomsday – T.I.A.

When someone comes out of such a dire situation And learns the English language, Just to share his observation! Probably get a Grammy without a grammar education. So fuck you school and fuck you immigration! – Somali

Imma dreamer but I ain’t the only one, Got problems but we love to have fun – Dreamer

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