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KNAAN HOUR

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Born in Mogadishu, Somalia,[3] K'naan spent his childhood in Mogadishu[4] and lived there during the Somali Civil War, which began in 1991. His aunt, Magool, was one of Somalia's most famous singers. His family still lives there. In his new country, K'naan began learning English, some through hip hop albums by artists like Nas and Rakim.... Critics have said K'naan has "a sound that fuses Bob Marley, conscious American hip hop, and brilliant protest poetry."[7] His voice and style have been compared to Eminem,[6] but his subject matter is very different; according to K'naan, he makes "urgent music with a message", talking about the situation in his homeland of Somalia and calling for an end to violence and bloodshed.[19] He specifically tries to avoid gangsta rap clichés and posturing,[20] saying: “ All Somalis know that gangsterism isn't to brag about. The kids that I was growing up with [in Rexdale] would wear baggy [track] suit pants, and a little jacket from Zellers or something, and they'd walk into school, and all the cool kids would be like, 'Ah, man, look at these Somalis. Yo, you're a punk!' And the other kid won't say nothing, but that kid, probably, has killed fifteen people.[8] ” This statement was made to explain his position on the world of difference which exists between where he grew up, and the ghettos of the first world.[21]. Nonetheless, K'naan denies that he is overtly political, instead explaining that he "[shows] the state of the world [and] if you call it like it is you're being political."[22]. His own opinion of his music is that it's a "mix of tradition and [a] kind of articulation of my own life and [..] my past experiences."[22] K'naan has said that he is influenced by Somali music and the traditional instruments of Somalia.[23] His most recent album, Troubadour, also draws heavily from Ethiopian sources, particularly Ethio-Jazz by Alemayehu Eshete and Tilahun Gessesse.

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