K’naan, The Dusty Foot Philosopher of Somalia

K’naan recently rose to international fame after his song, “Wavin’ Flag” was chosen by Coca-Cola as their anthem for the 2010 FIFA world cup. Since then, he has produced many other songs which have been praised for their insightful messages and incorporation of traditional African music styles.

K’naan was born in Mogadishu, Somalia where he spent most of his childhood in the middle of the brutal civil war. He was first introduced to hip-hop by his father, who used to send him records from America. Even though K’naan did not speak English, he carefully noted the beats and sounds. He soon moved to Canada where he pursued his music career.

K’naan’s message centers on a variety of issues, but many of his songs are about his life in Somalia and the effect of the civil war. Although he does not consider himself to be political, K’naan states that his goal is to “show the true state of the world” by sharing his experiences and life through music

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