Troubadour - K'NAAN
Troubadour Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 21 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Somalian-born rapper releases his second album, which features Chubb Rock, Damian Marley, Adam Levine (Maroon 5), Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Mos Def, and Chali 2na as guests.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. After what K'naan has been through, bless him for trying--the ebullience he extracts from a life much tougher than North Americans can know is worthy of soukous, mbaqanga, the highlife of Ghana's most punishing inflationary spiral.
  2. Troubadour, the Somali-born artist's follow-up to his great debut, is a smart fusion of influences.
  3. 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.
  4. Those elements ring so true for K’naan that it feels like a distraction when he turns to high-profile guests like the Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett (on 'If Rap Gets Jealous') and the Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine (on 'Bang Bang').
  5. 70
    Whether he’s lamenting immigration hassles or imagining himself a depressed American kid fighting in Iraq, this Muslim fan of Biggie and Bruce Lee has a common touch. He’s a universal soldier, not an exotic novelty.
  6. Like M.I.A.'s two CDs, Troubadour is Westernized but never compromises its heritage.
  7. Some songs work. He makes great use of Ethiopian-sounding jazz samples and M.I.A.-style children’s chants on ABCs, and excels while rapping over some of the album’s otherworldly beats.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Nov 15, 2010
    So yeah, after 2 months of spending time with this album, listening each and every song to death, I still love the album. That says all i have to say about this album. Unlike those 99% rappers who rap about **** this guy raps about life--about miserable life being lived by millions all over the earth. Each and every song brings with it a new story--and its all really well done. Not one song has disappointed me. I extremely recommend this album. Massively underrated! Expand

See all 7 User Reviews