1 New & Used Starting at $3.49


Rapping like he was Q-Tip, singing like he was Bob Marley, and ambitiously taking on the global sound like he was Wyclef Jean, K'Naan is not only a ridiculously talented man but one who comes with a story of survival so big it can't help but top most other tales of inner city pressure. Moving from a ghetto in war torn Somalia to Harlem and then on to Toronto where the sometimes poet's debut album wins the Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year, the lyrically gifted rapper just can't help being a one-upper. What's missing, then, from his sophomore effort Troubadour is some kind of "I did, you can too" message that could help make him a more approachable, Marley-like figure. You lose your girlfriend for whatever reason, K'Naan loses his to war. After pointing out the gangsters in his hood are bazooka carrying pirates who jack tankers for ransom, it becomes obvious that Troubadour is an album to marvel at from afar, but that doesn't keep it from being a rewarding, often eye-opening spectacle. Key track "ABCs" presents Africa as a land of different priorities, where survival trumps education and "nobody fat enough for lipo." The long lost Chubb Rock appearance is just one of the stunning choices for guests with Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine providing the hooky chorus for "Bang Bang" while Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett brings the rock & roll thunder to "If Rap Gets Jealous." Mos Def and Chali Tuna roll around just in time to keep this genre-jumping album filed under "hip-hop," but here, the multi-lingual K'Naan has taken to rapping in his native tongue. One track later in this epic tale and his first crush ends up kidnapped by soldiers, but when "Fatima" remembers that teenage feeling with "After school we studied the lessons/I asked God to slow down the seconds/He does the opposite, that's what I'm guessin'" it's strangely satisfying that K'Naan is one of us, at least when it comes to puppy love. Describing the elation of picking up that much-need wired money transfer on "15 Minutes Away" to dropping ancient history on "People Like Me" are the kind of long-jumps that make Troubadour a bit dizzying. Still, with such skill and ability on display, this is highly recommended for anyone intrigued by a version of Slumdog Millionaire or a Charles Dickens novel reimagined by Arrested Development. ~ [Troubadour was also made available in a clean version with all explicit material removed.]

Product Details

Release Date: 02/24/2009
Label: A&M / Octone
UPC: 0602517943995
catalogNumber: 001247902

Album Credits

Performance Credits

K'NAAN   Primary Artist,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,Moog Synthesizer,keyboard bass
Chubb Rock   Vocals
Michael O'Brien   Vocals
Ian Coleman   Guitar
Don Gilmore   Bass,Keyboards
Kirk Hammett   Guitar
Manny Marroquin   Keyboards
Vernon Reid   Guitar
Adam Levine   Vocals,Background Vocals
Damian "Junior Gong" Marley   Vocals,Background Vocals
Randy Cooke   Drums
Dwight Dawes   Organ,Piano,Clavinet,Synthesizer Bass,Hammond B3
Mos Def   Vocals
Onree Gill   Keyboards
Gannin Arnold   Guitar
Track   Synthesizer,Percussion,Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals,Moog Synthesizer,fender rhodes
Chali 2na   Vocals
Ron Haney   Guitar
Matt Cappy   Trumpet,Flugelhorn,Background Vocals
Zoe Merrill   Vocals,Children's Chorus
Shiah Coore   Bass
Matt Flynn   Drums
Michael Dale O'Brien   Children's Chorus
Antonella Quintana   Vocals,Children's Chorus
Bruno Mars   Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Drums,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Paul Arbogast   Trombone,Bass Trombone
Jessica Cathy   Vocals,Children's Chorus
Caleb Glickman   Vocals,Children's Chorus
Sol Guy   Vocals
Tiras Holifield   Vocals,Children's Chorus
Nate Stallworth   Keyboards
Leanna Brand   Conductor
Philip Lawrence   Percussion,Background Vocals
Field   Organ,Synthesizer,Guitar,Piano,Moog Synthesizer,Sampling,fender rhodes,Guitar (Nylon String)
Emme Lehmann-Boddicker   Vocals
Vili Lehmann-Boddicker   Vocals
Anne Rizzo   Vocals
Rayzak   Vocals,Background Vocals
Anjulie   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Bob Marley   Composer
Mychael Danna   Composer
Don Gilmore   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Manny Marroquin   Audio Production
Brian West   Producer,Audio Production
Damian "Junior Gong" Marley   Composer,Audio Production
Minnesota   Audio Production
Jan Fairchild   Engineer
Steve Mandel   Engineer
Kerry Brothers   Programming,Audio Production
Track   Programming
D. Smith   Composer
C. Stewart   Composer
Mark Kiczula   Engineer
Matt Cappy   Arranger,Horn Arrangements
Getatchew Mekurya   Composer
James Diener   Audio Production
Joseph Lobato   Engineer
Ben Berkman   Audio Production
Matthias Lange   Engineer
Miki Tsutsumi   Engineer
Paul Pavao   Engineer
K'NAAN   Composer,Programming,Audio Production
Ari Levine   Engineer
Christian Plata   Engineer
Erik Madrid   Engineer
Bruno Mars   Programming,Producer,Audio Production
Amir Aziz   Art Direction
Sol Guy   Audio Production
Junior Legend   Engineer
Philip Lawrence   Programming
Field   Programming
A. Eshete   Composer
G. Eaton   Composer
J. Daval   Composer
B. Mars   Composer
Deuce   Programming
B. West   Composer
P. Lawrence   Composer
Keinan Warsame   Composer
M. Richardson   Composer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Troubadour 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago More than 1 year ago
This man's got my attention. He's got a funky sound that's a good mix between old school, modern sounds, and his rhymes have a danceable flow. It's been a long time since I heard a rap album with this many catchy tracks. I mean catchy in a head bobbing, shake your rump kinda way, not some over-produced, blatant attempt at Top 40 hits. No doubt he'll have a few hits but it's tough to walk that line between hitmaker and sellout. I think K'Naan does it well. I'm not sure what to say about K'Naan except that he caught me by surprise. This man has a LOT of talent and could well be a major force in the future...if not already. You'll note that I didn't even mention the depth of his lyrics, his hard life story in Somalia, and how all of that ties together. Almost every other review will cover that. I'll leave it to them other than to say that he pulls that off well too. Final word - it's a rare album where I'll really like 13 out of 15 tracks. It's all the more rare in hip hop/rap these days. Don't fault me for it. It's a matter of taste. Still, I can safely claim that K'Naan is some of the best music I've heard so far in 2009.
ThatOneGuy More than 1 year ago
K'naan is a great new artist that just recently released his new album "Troubador." The hype for this album has been building up for a while now. His songs are featured on MTV on like every commercial break. His music is life changing. It has a soothing, calm feeling to it. Some songs make you wanna dance, some songs make you think.
zdunc More than 1 year ago
One of the best cds i have ever bought
Anonymous More than 1 year ago