(Somalia/Canada)  Hip Hop, World

K'naan's rap music comes from real life, having narrowly escaped death at age 11 in his home of Mogadishu, Somalia. His name translates to "traveler" and his music marries Western production to Somali rhythms and percussion, rock choruses to rap verses and lyrical darkness to melodic light. His words and beats are delivered with helium-fuelled intensity with venom and conviction. K'naan shot the video for its first single, the warlord-baiting "Soobax," among exiled Somalis in Kenya - a triumph for a street poet who spent his childhood shooting real guns.

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