Within the tracks of Troubadour lies dusty-footed poetry for all nations of hip hop, as Somalia-born emcee K’NAAN raps a wiser worldview with a tightened flow. He blends Rakim’s sophistication with Eminem’s wit over an intercontinental, multi-genre tapestry of beats and melodies from African folk (“Dusty Streets”) to southern funk, soul (“I Come Prepared”), and tweeter-rattling crunk (“Does It Really Matter”). His intricate, gritty journalistic rhymes and punch lines uplift, entertain and educate, simultaneously chronicling the rancor of experiences from war-torn Somalia and his commentary on the global state of hip hop. The reintroduced, remixed “If Rap Gets Jealous” — from Dusty Foot Philosopher (2005) — reveals a swifter, more succinct rapper who’s evolved since his last album and deftly captured the historic Marley vibe of the album’s Tuff Gong recording locale. K’NAAN will also be a solid addition to this year’s Rock The Bells Tour as it crisscrosses the U.S.

K’Naan: www.knaanmusic.ning.com

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