K’naan identifies as a Somalian Hip Hop artist who grew up in Canada. K’naan developed his love for Hip Hop and used influences of Nas and Rakim to begin his journey in Hip Hop. Before his family moved to the states and then permanently relocated to Canada, he experienced the civil war while growing up in Somolia. These experiences heavily influence his lyrics and poems.
K’naan’s song “Take a Minute” had a feel good laid back tone to it. The song produced a calming spirit and I didn’t realize the lyrics had significant meaning until listening for the second time. The song spoke about the artists experience in Africa during the Mandela era and how his mother unknowingly instilled in him the importance of giving back to his people. He speaks on how he doesn’t know how leaders who fought in civil struggles remained positive and only wanted to see their people survive and free from the strife of European influence. The song also expressed the importance of his mother, the role she played in his family and a glimpse of her struggle during their civil war era. After implying briefly of the struggle, he goes on to share how “the worst is over now.” He implies through his lyrics that the lines of communication and acceptance are open now between Europeans and his people. He then uses Akon as an example of how Western societies are more willing to accept Africa, it’s people and its culture due to various awards won by him. I thought it interesting how he spoke so positively of the current state of his home when others may not be so willing to express similar sentiments. Overall, I felt the song allowed for a positive perspective and those that listen to it may gain a sense of peace if they are able to relate to the examples K’naan gave.