The young, Somali-Canadian rapper Knaan has spent the last three years giving a serious international push to his Juno Award-winning debut, The Dusty Foot Philosopher , so its understandable that hes eager to unveil his major-label follow-up, Troubadour , this week. Its a glitzy affair, with Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett exploding suddenly onto the otherwise placid single, If Rap Gets Jealous, and early-90s hit-maker Chubb Rock chewing up his cameo on the other single, ABCs. The requisite shout-out to his homeland, Somalia is a heartfelt yet critical look at a country that doesnt often get a close-up. Through it all, Knaan doesnt dilute the gangly, reggae-influenced bounce of his prodigious flow, making him an excellent addition to the Ragga Muffins Festivals tribute to Bob Marley.
Sat., Feb. 21, noon; Sun., Feb. 22, noon, 2009