The young, Somali-Canadian rapper K’naan has spent the last three years giving a serious international push to his Juno Award-winning debut, The Dusty Foot Philosopher , so it’s understandable that he’s eager to unveil his major-label follow-up, Troubadour , this week. It’s 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 doesn’t often get a close-up. Through it all, K’naan doesn’t dilute the gangly, reggae-influenced bounce of his prodigious flow, making him an excellent addition to the Ragga Muffins Festival’s tribute to Bob Marley.
Sat., Feb. 21, noon; Sun., Feb. 22, noon, 2009


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