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Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, just as the civil unrest that rocked the country was beginning, rapper K'NAAN spent the early years of his life trying to avoid death and listening to the hip-hop records sent to him from America by his father, who had left Somalia earlier. When K'NAAN (whose name means "traveler" in Somali) was 13, he, his mother, and his two siblings were able to leave their homeland and join relatives in Harlem, where they stayed briefly before moving to Rexdale, Ontario, where there was a large Somali community. As soon as his English started improving he began rapping, and in tenth grade he dropped out of school and traveled around North America for two years, performing occasionally. Through his friendship with Sol Guy, part of promotion team Direct Current Media, K'NAAN was able to perform at the United Nations' 50th anniversary concert in 1999, held in Geneva, where he used his platform to publicly criticize the United Nations' handling of the Somali crisis in the 1990s. One of the audience members, Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour, was so impressed by the young MC's performance and courage that he invited him to contribute to his 2001 album Building Bridges, a project through which K'NAAN was able to tour the world. In 2002, he met Jarvis Church, part of the Track and Field Productions team that helped propel Nelly Furtado to fame, a connection that eventually led to a record. The Dusty Foot Philosopher came out in Canada in 2005, and was followed with tour spots with Mos Def and Talib Kweli, as well as a performance at Live 8. In 2007, the live album On the Road appeared and then, two years later, the album Troubadour became K'NAAN's first for the major-label A&M. After his track "Wavin' Flag" became the anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, his More Beautiful Than Silence EP arrived in 2012. ~ Marisa Brown
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Stations Featuring

    New Hip-Hop First

    New Hip-Hop First
    1 song

Albums by

Top Songs by

  1.   Song
  2.   Immigrants (We Get the Job Done) featuring Rene "Residente"
  3.   Wavin' Flag
  4.   Bang Bang
  5.   Take a Minute
  6.   ABC's
  7.   Somalia
  8.   Hurt Me Tomorrow
  9.   If Rap Gets Jealous
  10.   Moment
  11.   Wash It Down
  12.   Alone
  13.   My Old Home
  14.   The Wall
  15.   Is Anybody Out There?
  16.   The Dusty Foot Philosopher
  17.   Soobax
  18.   The Sound Of My Breaking Heart
  19.   Nothing To Lose
  20.   The African Way
  21.   Fire in Freetown
  22.   Fatima
  23.   Dreamer
  24.   15 Minutes Away
  25.   Hoobaale
  26.   In the Beginning
  27.   Bulletproof Pride
  28.   What's Hardcore?
  29.   Sleep When We Die
  30.   On The Other Side
  31.   70 Excuses
  32.   Simple
  33.   Waiting Is A Drug
  34.   Gold In Timbuktu
  35.   The Seed
  36.   Coming to America
  37.   Better
  38.   More Beautiful Than Silence
  39.   Is It a Myth?
  40.   T.I.A.
  41.   People Like Me
  42.   I Come Prepared by Damian "Junior Gong" Marley
  43.   America
  44.   Until the Lion Learns to Speak
  45.   For Mohamoud (Soviet)
  46.   Boxing My Shadow
  47.   Voices in My Head
  48.   Strugglin'
  49.   Smile
  50.   Be Free
  51.   By the End of the Day
  52.   I Was Stabbed by Satan
  53.   Til We Get There
  54.   With God on Our Side
  55.   Blues For the Horn
  56.   My God
  57.   This Is My World
  58.   Drain My Grey Away
  59.   The African Way by Mwafrika
  60.   4Real: Kenya
  61.   [Bonus Material]
  62.   Does It Really Matter
  63.   Dusty Streets
  64.   Rap Gets Jealous
  65.   African Way - K'naan, Mwafrika
  66.   Nothing To Lose by Nasir "Nas" Jones
  67.   The Dusy Foot Philosopher
  68.   Qi Kai de Sheng
  69.   Come Prepared by Damian "Junior Gong" Marley

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