K'NAAN grew up on the dusty streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, amidst the uncertainty of a fomenting civil war. At age thirteen, he escaped the ensuing civil war aboard the very last commercial flight to leave the country. His war-time memories, combined with the desire to educate the western world and effect change for those he left behind, lend his lyrics the elements of realness and urgency that are lacking in the clichéd world of hip hop today. His album, The Dusty Foot Philosopher
, brims with authenticity. Instead of ghettoes and drug dealers, K'Naan exposes us to a world populated with war lords, child soldiers and rocket-propelled grenades.
His first single Soobax
is percussion-fuelled protest music at its finest. “The term Soobax actually means to ‘come out’, so when I recorded that in the studio, I imagined myself being in front of gunmen, and I'm communicating directly to them”. As you will see in the video clip, Soobax
was shot entirely in Africa. The music carries a powerful message, and one that's already inspiring change. As K'Naan relates, “One of those homeless kids in the video that was dancing actually hid his machete in his coat pocket when he heard my music. He then started to dance and put his machete away under the tree. That's why my long-term goal is to use whatever fame I get to help change the situation in my region and not to own a clothing line like some of my rap peers”.
For further information on K'NAAN go to: www.thedustyfoot.com