Released last summer, Troubador was a record meant to illustrate the contours of K’naan’s storied life. After some international success with his 2006 debut, his sophomore effort has a quality guest list (Mos Def, Damian Marley, David Guetta; Adam Levine…) and a globalized sound collage to match its creator’s worldview. Kirk Hammett’s guitar slashed across a Chili Peppers chorus that morphed into moody hip-pop. “Kandahar” rhymed with “kinda hard” and “party hard.” And K’naan referenced two of his past homes in “Somalia,” rapping about his homeland in a Harlem-bred cadence. But as much as he dwells on the rough stuff, on lines of coke cut with gun powder, K’naan is an MC at heart and an artist analogous to those who get multinational as a course of both protest and pop music.
Sat., Oct. 9, 7 p.m., 2010
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 29, 2010