ARTIST: K'naan (pronounced K-Non)
SOUNDS LIKE: Feli Kuti x Eminem x Bob Marley x Mos Def
FUN FACT: K'naan recorded parts of the album at Bob Marley's famed Tuff Gong Studio's in Kingston, Jamaica after being invited by Damian Marley who also appears on the album.
WHY COMPLEX IS CO-SIGNING IT: No one expected a wiry Somalian kid to sing, play guitar and rap in an voice like Eminem's (someone give Asher a late pass). Picking up where his debut The Dusty Foot Philosopher left off, K'naan continues to bridge the gap between the western and eastern worlds with a musical melting pot of Bob Marley samples, acoustic guitar and rap drums. Along with highlighting how horrific Somalia's hoods are, he also sheds light on a lighter side, dedicating a song to his mother and telling a story of puppy love that sounds like it could have been on the Lion King soundtrack. K'naan also enlists some big names this go around with Mos Def, Damian Marley, Chubb Rock and Metallica's Kirk Hammett all contributing. With every rapper claiming to want to explore other forms of music because they're bored with rap, it's nice to hear a dude who has no problem exploring rap.
KEY TRACKS (LISTEN):
"T.I.A. (This is Africa)"
"I Come Prepared" Feat. Damian Marley