Wednesday, February 16, 2011

K'naan: a Somali singer-songwriter repping East Africa

K'Naan _KNA0362x
Originally uploaded by hazyskyline
K'naan grew up in war-torn Mogadishu, Somalia, says

He moved to Toronto at 13 and learned English with the help of Eric B & Rakim records - which helps lend grittiness to his storytelling.

But in "Fatima," performed here, he tells the story of a lost childhood friend with gentle humor and a sober understanding of what our loved ones leave behind.

That song is sandwiched between two magnificent inspirational anthems: "Wavin' Flag" and "Take a Minute," both of which are as uplifting as they are shot through with real-world perspective.

"Take a minute" references Gandhi and Nelson Mandela and the violence his family experienced in Somalia.

K'naan has the makings of a global superstar who's as inspiring as his songs are infectious, believes NPR.

A French-Canadian Media College performed a terrific lip-dub version of the K'naan song, "Wavin' Flag." See it here.