SXSW Music Festival

SXSW 2009: K'Naan

K'Naan In Concert At SXSW 3/19/09

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/101430586/102134494" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Before escaping war-torn Somalia at age 13, K'Naan found inspiration in an Eric B & Rakim CD mailed to him by his father. By the time he'd reached Canada — and before he could even speak English — K'Naan had etched the raps of Paid in Full in his mind. Driven by Ethiopian samples and a mission to raise awareness about Somalia, K'Naan will perform as part of NPR Music's day party at SXSW. Hear the rapper recorded live in concert from The Parish in Austin, Tex.

In a recent interview with NPR's Elizabeth Blair, K'Naan says that American rap lacks credibility, because even the toughest American neighborhoods aren't as dangerous as his hometown of Mogadishu. His background informs a style that hits hard with a message that hits even harder. K'Naan's latest album, Troubadour, features the talents of Mos Def, Chali 2na, Metallica's Kirk Hammett and the long-lost Chubb Rock, who weighs in on "ABCs."

[+] read more[-] less

More From Hip-Hop

Chance The Rapper performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 5, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Tiny Desk

Chance The Rapper

Chance The Rapper, fresh from a 23,000-strong, sold-out show the night before, brought a thoughtful and fresh take to his Tiny Desk concert.

Nick Grant performs a Tiny Desk Concert on May 8, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Tiny Desk

Nick Grant

The Atlanta-based MC came through with the flu and coolly earned our praise. How sick is that?

Back To Top