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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.   If Rap Gets Jealous
  9.   Hurt Me Tomorrow
  10.   Moment
  11.   Soobax
  12.   Alone
  13.   More Beautiful Than Silence
  14.   Is Anybody Out There?
  15.   Is It a Myth?
  16.   Gold In Timbuktu
  17.   I Was Stabbed by Satan
  18.   Wash It Down
  19.   The Sound Of My Breaking Heart
  20.   The African Way
  21.   Fire in Freetown
  22.   Fatima
  23.   Dreamer
  24.   15 Minutes Away
  25.   Blues For the Horn
  26.   In the Beginning
  27.   On The Other Side
  28.   Nothing To Lose
  29.   My Old Home
  30.   T.I.A.
  31.   Waiting Is A Drug
  32.   What's Hardcore?
  33.   Sleep When We Die
  34.   The Wall
  35.   Bulletproof Pride
  36.   70 Excuses
  37.   Simple
  38.   The Seed
  39.   Coming to America
  40.   Better
  41.   By the End of the Day
  42.   Be Free
  43.   People Like Me
  44.   I Come Prepared by Damian "Junior Gong" Marley
  45.   America
  46.   Til We Get There
  47.   Until the Lion Learns to Speak
  48.   For Mohamoud (Soviet)
  49.   Boxing My Shadow
  50.   Voices in My Head
  51.   Hoobaale
  52.   Strugglin'
  53.   The Dusty Foot Philosopher
  54.   Smile
  55.   My God
  56.   With God on Our Side
  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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