Justin Beiber, Jay-Z, Lil’ Wayne, Lady Gaga. What do they all have in common? They rule American airwaves, iPods, and dance floors. But step beyond these borders and there is another artist uniting the world’s musicians and music lovers, K’naan.
The Somali-Canadian, composer, poet, rapper, and musician has grown in popularity with his infectious beats, inspirational lyrics, and socially conscious themes.
K’naan’s sound is a fusion of old school American Hip-Hop (without the “b” and “n” words) and Bob Marley mixed with traditional African beats. He sings and raps in both English and his native Somali.
His latest album Troubadour, has collaborations with more American mainstream artists like Moroon 5’s Adam Levine, Mos Def, and Damian Marley. The album has a bunch of stand-alone singles, including “Taking a minute,” and “ABC’s, but the runaway song that will hopefully help him break into the American consciousnesses is “Wavin’ Flag,” with a remixed version featuring Will.I.Am and David Guetta.
"When I get older, I will be stronger/ They'll call me freedom/ Just like a wavin' flag." A message for everyone: Anything is attainable through belief, hard work, and resolve.
The song has raised $1 million for Haiti relief and has been chosen as the official songs for the 2010 World Cup, set to take place in South Africa in June.
Give the “Gaga” a rest and let K’naan give you a glimpse at what the rest of the world is listening to.