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Audio CD, Explicit Lyrics, Extra tracks, June 23, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
I have to say that I liked this CD more than I thought I would. First off, I was pleasantly surprised at how well K'naan enunciates his words. One of things I've disliked so much about rap lyrics is that I often cannot make out much more than the four-letter words; then what comes across is a bunch of anger and ugliness without much in the way of content to enlighten me and draw me in. This compilation is different. I can understand what's being said, and what's being said is often meaningful--and more broadly so--than most of the rap I've been exposed to has seemed to me. K'naan is just as adept as some infamous rappers at using those four-letter words, but they are used to good effect--not solely for their shock value or as a coded badge of entry for members of a narrowly circumscribed, exclusive little club.
The way K'naan and his collaborators juxtapose rap rhythms with more traditional musical elements is appealing. When there is a spoken rap line, the elements backing it up are more melodic; when the vocals are sung (as on my favorite tracks), the beat is more rap-like.Read more ›
It's interesting to hear a voice from Somalia after reading about it so often in the paper: "the worse place in the world right now" as K'naan says in one song. His descriptions of a childhood on the streets are very poignant and his songs about hope and pursuing his dreams are really moving.
The song "Waving Flag" picks up Bob Marley's mantle. K'naan is not Marley, but then, neither was Marley when he started out.
I am sure other reviewers will write about this in the context of rap music, and how K'naan stands up to American rappers; but even if you are not a rap fan, you should still check out this album. K'naan is an important voice and his music resonates well beyond any one genre or listener group.
There's really not a bad or filler track on here, but my favorite songs are Bang Bang/If Rap Gets Jealous/Wavin' Flag/Take a Minute/ People Like Me. I think he sounds like Wyclef meets Eminem...in the best possible way. Very positive approach towards a life that throws too many curveballs.
I would recommend this to anyone who likes popular music!
I must say that I'm glad that I took a shot on Troubadour. While I don't have a lot of experience to draw from, I get the distinct impression that there is something different about this CD. K'Naan's songs speak about real problems beyond the U.S. borders. While many of the subjects are about the grim and grizzly reality of growing up in war torn Somalia, K'Naan always comes back the fact that he is a survivor. Even though his life began in dire straits, he has overcome these extreme obstacles to be successful. I believe that his background keeps him from wandering down thepaths of excess and gratuitous sex and violence that is so prevalent in rap and hip-hop. Songs such as " ABCs" give light to the life children in Somalia face "They don't teach us the ABCs. All we have is life on the streets." As compelling as this subject is, many people will need something more that they can relate to. K'Naan takes care of this. The closer, "People Like Me", unites K'Naan's trials to those of a soldier in Iraq and a struggling single mother. The chorus says it all "Heaven, is there a chance that you could come down and open doors to hurting people like me." K'Naan also has a couple of songs about the ladies, but he avoids the cliches and degradation that is so common. While "Bang Bang" is more lighthearted and playful, "Fatima" is a more solemn song about a love lost.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm not normally a fan of rap, or hip hop, but I heard some clips of K'naan on NPR a while ago, and was instantly hooked. His lyrics are poignant, and meaningful. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Emily M.
I first heard about K'naan during an interview on Chicago Public Radio's "Sound Opinions" show. I was hooked ever since. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Vegigirl
I was recently introduced to K'naan's music, and I love this CD. I appreciate the way K'naan respectfully integrates both his African heritage and his life in America into his... Read morePublished on December 14, 2013 by Donna
Amidst a world in which rappers boast of riches and the easy life , K'naan brings the TRUE reality of the streets to us in Troubadour. Read morePublished on August 30, 2013 by Kristin Drysdale
Great party music from K'naan reminiscent of Bob Marley. TIA talks about weirdos and beardos who are much more frightening than any American gangster. Read morePublished on May 25, 2013 by Malcolm Reeve
i dont even like this type of music but this is a really good album and like most of the songsPublished on May 23, 2013 by Ivan Henson