Troubadour [Explicit Lyrics]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - David Jeffries
Rapping like he was Q-Tip, singing like he was Bob Marley, and ambitiously taking on the global sound like he was Wyclef Jean, K'Naan is not only a ridiculously talented man but one who comes with a story of survival so big it can't help but top most other tales of inner city pressure. Moving from a ghetto in war torn Somalia to Harlem and then on to Toronto where the sometimes poet's debut album wins the Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year, the lyrically gifted rapper just can't help being a one-upper. What's missing, then, from his sophomore effort Troubadour is some kind of "I did, you can too" message that could help make him a more approachable, Marley-like ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - David Jeffries
Rapping like he was Q-Tip, singing like he was Bob Marley, and ambitiously taking on the global sound like he was Wyclef Jean, K'Naan is not only a ridiculously talented man but one who comes with a story of survival so big it can't help but top most other tales of inner city pressure. Moving from a ghetto in war torn Somalia to Harlem and then on to Toronto where the sometimes poet's debut album wins the Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year, the lyrically gifted rapper just can't help being a one-upper. What's missing, then, from his sophomore effort Troubadour is some kind of "I did, you can too" message that could help make him a more approachable, Marley-like figure. You lose your girlfriend for whatever reason, K'Naan loses his to war. After pointing out the gangsters in his hood are bazooka carrying pirates who jack tankers for ransom, it becomes obvious that Troubadour is an album to marvel at from afar, but that doesn't keep it from being a rewarding, often eye-opening spectacle. Key track "ABCs" presents Africa as a land of different priorities, where survival trumps education and "nobody fat enough for lipo." The long lost Chubb Rock appearance is just one of the stunning choices for guests with Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine providing the hooky chorus for "Bang Bang" while Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett brings the rock & roll thunder to "If Rap Gets Jealous." Mos Def and Chali Tuna roll around just in time to keep this genre-jumping album filed under "hip-hop," but here, the multi-lingual K'Naan has taken to rapping in his native tongue. One track later in this epic tale and his first crush ends up kidnapped by soldiers, but when "Fatima" remembers that teenage feeling with "After school we studied the lessons/I asked God to slow down the seconds/He does the opposite, that's what I'm guessin'" it's strangely satisfying that K'Naan is one of us, at least when it comes to puppy love. Describing the elation of picking up that much-need wired money transfer on "15 Minutes Away" to dropping ancient history on "People Like Me" are the kind of long-jumps that make Troubadour a bit dizzying. Still, with such skill and ability on display, this is highly recommended for anyone intrigued by a will.i.am version of Slumdog Millionaire or a Charles Dickens novel reimagined by Arrested Development.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/24/2009
  • Label: A&M / Octone
  • UPC: 602517943957
  • Catalog Number: 001247802

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 T.I.A. (3:38)
  2. 2 Abcs (3:09)
  3. 3 Dreamer (4:32)
  4. 4 I Come Prepared (4:08)
  5. 5 Bang Bang (3:06)
  6. 6 If Rap Gets Jealous (3:39)
  7. 7 Wavin' Flag (3:40)
  8. 8 Somalia (3:33)
  9. 9 America (4:45)
  10. 10 Fatima (5:01)
  11. 11 Fire in Freetown (4:36)
  12. 12 Take a Minute (4:06)
  13. 13 15 Minutes Away (4:56)
  14. 14 People Like Me (6:16)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
K'NAAN Primary Artist
Ian Coleman Guitar
Don Gilmore Bass, Keyboards
Kirk Hammett Guitar
Manny Marroquin Keyboards
Vernon Reid Guitar
Adam Levine Vocals, Background Vocals
Damian "Junior Gong" Marley Vocals, Background Vocals
Randy Cooke Drums
Dwight Dawes Piano, Hammond Organ, Clavinet, Synthesizer Bass
Onree Gill Keyboards
Gannin Arnold Guitar
The Track Synthesizer, Percussion, Piano, Vocals, Moog Synthesizer, fender rhodes
Chali 2na Vocals
Steve Rodriguez Bass
Ron Haney Guitar
James Valentine Guitar
Matt Cappy Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Background Vocals
Zoe Merrill Children's Chorus
Shiah Coore Bass
Matt Flynn Drums
The Field Organ, Synthesizer, Bass, Guitar, Piano, Moog Synthesizer, Sampling, fender rhodes, Guitar (Nylon String), Effects Pedals
Michael Dale O'Brien Children's Chorus
Emme Lehmann Boddicker Children's Chorus
Vilem Lehmann Boddicker Children's Chorus
Antonella Quintana Children's Chorus
Bruno Mars Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Drums, Keyboards, Background Vocals
Paul Arbogast Trombone, Bass Trombone
Jessica Cathy Children's Chorus
Caleb Glickman Children's Chorus
Sol Guy Vocals
Tiras Holifield Children's Chorus
Nate Stallworth Keyboards
Technical Credits
Mychael Danna Composer
Don Gilmore Producer, Engineer
Dave McNair Mastering
Brian West Producer
Minnesota Producer
Jan Fairchild Engineer
Steve Mandel Engineer
Kerry Brothers Programming, Producer
The Track Programming
Deuce Programming
Mark Kiczula Engineer
Matt Cappy Horn Arrangements
Joseph Lobato Engineer
Matthias Lange Engineer
Miki Tsutsumi Engineer
Paul Pavao Engineer
The Field Programming, Engineer, Dub Mixing
Ari Levine Engineer
Christian Plata Engineer
Erik Madrid Engineer
Bruno Mars Programming, Producer
Amir Aziz Art Direction
Sol Guy Management
Junior Legend Engineer
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    One of the Best I've Heard in 2009 (and I've Heard a LOT)

    This man's got my attention. He's got a funky sound that's a good mix between old school, modern sounds, and his rhymes have a danceable flow. It's been a long time since I heard a rap album with this many catchy tracks. I mean catchy in a head bobbing, shake your rump kinda way, not some over-produced, blatant attempt at Top 40 hits. No doubt he'll have a few hits but it's tough to walk that line between hitmaker and sellout. I think K'Naan does it well.

    I'm not sure what to say about K'Naan except that he caught me by surprise. This man has a LOT of talent and could well be a major force in the future...if not already. You'll note that I didn't even mention the depth of his lyrics, his hard life story in Somalia, and how all of that ties together. Almost every other review will cover that. I'll leave it to them other than to say that he pulls that off well too.

    Final word - it's a rare album where I'll really like 13 out of 15 tracks. It's all the more rare in hip hop/rap these days. Don't fault me for it. It's a matter of taste. Still, I can safely claim that K'Naan is some of the best music I've heard so far in 2009.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    New Age Bob Marley

    K'naan is a great new artist that just recently released his new album "Troubador." The hype for this album has been building up for a while now. His songs are featured on MTV on like every commercial break. His music is life changing. It has a soothing, calm feeling to it. Some songs make you wanna dance, some songs make you think.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews