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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

    Underground Hip-Hop

    Underground Hip-Hop
    1 song

Albums by

Top Songs by

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

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