by Winston "Stone" Ford
K’Naan – Strugglin‘
K’Naan is an artist you should know about. The Canadian/Somalian Hip-Hop artist has been on his grind for a while now north of the border, dropping the critically acclaimed album The Dusty Foot Philosopher in 2005, which won him a Juno (Canadian Grammy) award for best rap album as well as critical acclaim around the world.
K’Naan and his family fled war-torn Somalia in 1991 catching the last flight out of the country and eventually settling in Harlem and Toronto. The Toronto-based MC’s lyrics are less about being gangsta and more about his struggles as an African refugee. His music is a blend of African Rhythms and American Hip-Hop with politically charged lyrics. Unfortunately, K’Naan hasn’t made a dent in the US hip-hop market, even in the more conscious/underground circles, which is sad.
The last time I blogged about K’Naan was when he was getting denied backstage access by racist bouncers at his own show in Sweden. Even though it’s been 3 years since he dropped his first album, he is back in the studio, recording with Damian and Stephen Marley at the Tuff Gong studios in Jamaica, as well as performing with Mos Def.