Deluxe edition includes bonus DVD! Recorded primarily in Kingston, Jamaica where K'Naan was granted unprecedented access by his friends Stephen and Damian Marley to their father Bob Marley's original home studio at 56 Hope Road and the legendary Tuff Gong studios Troubadour is a Hip Hop album like no other. K'Naan successfully blends samples and live instrumentation for a sound that's both rooted in traditional African melodies and the classic Hip Hop tradition. Features Kirk Hammett of Metallic
Some people listen to hip hop mostly for the poetry, and these people may be disappointed with this album. It's a pleasant, danceable collection, though. There's a distinct world music influence, and it's a step up in production quality from the artist's previous work. Catchy tunes, a good children's choir, and K'nann's smooth voice make it an enjoyable listen.
I only paid $2 for this album. I guess there was some kind of fuck up over at Amazon.com, because when I went there to preview the tracks, the sale price was listed as $1.99. Realizing this couldn’t be correct, I quickly jumped on that shit and, immediately after purchasing, checked the page again to see the price listed at $7.99. Nice, huh? Especially since K’naan’s “Troubadour” has become probably my favorite album of 2009 thus far.
Every rapper alive talks about the hard life on the streets of whatever, but the buzzed-over Somalian rapper K'Naan grew up in Mogadishu, where, one imagines, he's got more proof of such things than most of today's American AutoTune jockeys. K'Naan's singular take on the parallels between Africa and America is the strongest thread running through this diverse, socially alert and frequently brilliant sophomore disc. The set mixes smart, bouncy hip-hop ("ABCs," with the long-missed Chubb Rock, and "T.I.A.") with sweeping, elegant R&B like "Wavin' Flag" and "Take a Minute," which come off sounding organic and accomplished. Sadly, big-name guests like Adam Levine ("Bang Bang") and Kirk Hammett ("If Rap Gets Jealous," an ill-advised rap-rock throwback) throw the album's momentum out of whack, which is too bad. Without the filler, "Troubadour" would be a killer statement from a powerfully fresh new voice; as it is, it has to settle for being really good.