Album Review: K’Naan – Troubadour (Champion Edition)
Somalian born musician K’Naan first came to international light back in 2004 with his debut My Life Is A Movie and the 32 year old hip hop poet has had a successful run leading up to today with his latest release Troubadour – Champion Edition.
Troubadour was originally unleashed on the world in 2009. It’s now been given a ‘special edition’ label and polished makeover off the popularity of the rapper as well as the fact that the track Wavin Flag, which is currently doing well in the European charts was chosen to be used as the 2010 Coca Cola FIFA World Cup anthem.
Here, K’naan mixes his roots of African beats, neo-soul and hip hop with an array of guest musicians supplying aspects of pop, jazz, heavy metal and jamacian flavor creating a record that is as hot as makeovers come. Chart wise, the album is doing considerably well off the lead single Wavin Flag and its african infused beat heavy rhythms.
K’naan has also called on fellow music industry heavyweight friends Damien Marley, Mos Def, will.i.am and Superstar club DJ David Guetta who were all happy to jump on the bandwagon.
Bang Bang is a top class track with a hip hop foundation overlayed with an up tempo blue-eyed soul flavor courtesy of American rock group Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine.
If Rap Gets Jelous is given a metal makeover with Metallica legend Kirk Hammett at the guitars helm.
America, with its 50’s big band style trumpet opening and the inclusion of rapper Mos Defs leisurely rhymes make this a standout on the record.
The obvious selling point of this album is without doubt Wavin Flag. If your song is marketed under the FIFA World Cup banner your bound to sell a few records from that opportunity alone as well as raise your profile quite considerably. With its re-release Wavin Flag is also given its own makeover with the addition of two remixes. The first being the Coca Cola Celebration Mix with its lyrical appendage ‘lets rejoice in the beautiful game’ – the perfect marketing addition.
The second sees the inclusion of Black Eyed Peas front man and producer will.i.am and dance floor guru David Guetta. Both prove to be equally as good as the original version with its uplifting message of freedom, perserverance and triumph.
A mix of a-list collaborations, timeless and patriotic musical stylings and a raw passion for creating something inspirational for a country in dire is what will put this fresh face and voice of African hip hop on the map of modern music. Troubadour – Champion Edition is a collection of incredible musicianship that could be the greatest success of the World Cup.