In K’naan’s song Nothing to Lose feat. Nas K’naan comes to terms with his Somali culture and heritage and how it influenced him when first immigrating to the United States. He recounts some embarrassing moments when he was unsure of the culture but then eventually becoming entrenched in American style and culture. He even goes into depth to describe how he use to buy knock off Filas. This drives home the point of K’naan being an outsider and being unsure of the style immigrating from a different country. Although, K’naan builds an understanding and sense of American culture and norms he doesn’t lose sight of his own African culture as he shows in this song. Continuing on in this post I will further dissect his song Nothing to Lose and how he uses it to connect with his African and more specifically his Somalian roots.
In his lyrics K’naan makes references to Somalia. He spits, “I don’t know pilots, I know pirates.” Furthermore, he highlights in the video young presumably Somali girls in hijabs, again this displays his strong ties with his motherland. He also highlights the Somali Social Club in the video and Nas even embraces the culture by adorning himself in a keffiyeh. In addition, K’naan brings up other East African countries and urges that knowledge is key and that we need to learn more about one another’s history.
In closing, I would argue that K’naan has close ties with his origin and his motherland. I think that more African rappers need to highlight aspects of their culture and heritage so that fans and the public can become more socially and culturally conscious/aware and tolerant. Knowledge is power, the more we learn about other people’s culture and norms the more likely we will become a more interconnected world.