K’Naan Second Album Review: Troubador (2009)

In K’Naan’s 2009 album”Troubador”, he mostly spoke English but  there were a few songs in which he spoke in Somali. One song in particular entitled “America,” he spoke his native Somali language in the first verse and chorus as well. I find his ability to rap in both Somali and English extremely interesting because he is able to rap fluidly without missing a bit. This album K’Naan did and excellent job of making his immigration struggles in Somali more noticeable. In the first song, T.I.A (This Is Africa), he started the song by saying.” I hope you have your passports ready and vaccine shots”. What I received from the song was K’Naan making a reference to countries like ours who will not allow those from Africa into our country unless you have a passport and have been vaccinated. Track 14,”People like me”, was also a song where he discussed his immigration issues with K’Naan, his mother and cousin. The country was going through at the time and his mother attempted to get both K’Naan and his cousin out but did not have enough money for all three tickets so she was forced to choose. To quote K’Naan’s verse he said, “How bitter when my mother had to choose who to take with her, so my cousin got left in the war and thats just hard to record.”

African immigration was spoked of a lot in this album. In his song, “ABC,” K’Naan speaks on how growing up in Somalia children were never taught in schools but more so how to shoot guns. They were never taught how to read or write but were brought up and learned in the streets of Somalia. K’Naan represents his country and speaks on how tough it was growing up in Somalia throughout the album. In the song, “I stay prepared,” K’Naan speaks on how he was turned into a man at a young age when he was forced to shoot and kill. He also represents his represents his country in the song “Somali.” In this song he speaks on his love for his country, as well as the love he receives back from Somalia. He also speaks about growing up and the fun things he used to do like race bikes down hills.

One of my more favorite songs on the album is “Wavin, Flag.” In this song he talks about the struggle to survive in Somalia. “So we struggling, fighting to eat, and we wondering, when we’ll be free.” Some of political topics K’Naan discusses are about the wars fought in Somalia. he speaks on how the government forces not only Somalis to fight but Africans in general, claiming to better the countries well being and looking out for the interest of the individuals but only end up making things worst. War in African countries is a huge political issue and K’Naan expressed how the government is to blame for these wars. The intended audience of the album i feel were of all ages but the African American race was more so targeted. African Americans were not discussed really in this album really. This album by far was a lot better than the first one. I found myself listening to the album for more enjoyment than for the project, with even a few favorite sings of choice. K’Naan is a good artist and you can hear the pain from his past in each lyric and song.

Leave a Reply