The name K’Naan may not be familiar to most, but that may change when the Somalian artist by way of Ontario, Canada releases his US debut, The Dusty Foot Philosopher Deluxe Edition, this June. His music has been described as borrowing “from the protest songs of Bob Marley, the hip-hop lyricism of Mos Def, and the storytelling traditions of Somalia,” and he’s received praise from Damien Marley and is a Juno Award winner. Not bad at all, but what did Butta and ill Mami think of his single “If Rap Gets Jealous”? Did they love it or want to leave it alone? Listen to the track, then read on below.
K’Naan: “If Rap Gets Jealous”
Butta: OK, so this is some cat named K’Naan.
ill Mami: He’s from Somalia.
Butta: Ah, that explains some things. Well, the track starts off innocent enough.
ill Mami: I’m liking the guitar.
Butta: I like the guitar, too. Can’t say the same for his voice, though. Yikes! He dropped the f-bomb. My virgin ears!
ill Mami: I know. Wasn’t expecting that. “You’re likely to get shot at birth.” Wow.
Butta: Yeah, I peeped that line. Deep.
ill Mami: This chorus is kind of annoying. I miss the guitar. Thank God, it’s back.
Butta: Right! The rocking out on the chorus is an acquired taste.
ill Mami: He’s trying to sound angry. It’s cute. 🙂
Butta: Angry cute…funny.
ill Mami: This song is likely like Kryptonite to 50 Cent or Jim Jones. LOL
ill Mami: Oh God. Again with the anger.
Butta: I could do without the screaming myself. It’s distracting.
ill Mami: “I’d rather do a stage dive.” Me, too. Onto concrete.
Butta: ROFL!! Whew! It’s over!
ill Mami: Yay!
Butta: OK, so let’s assess.
ill Mami: Now how is rap going to get jeaous?
Butta: I guess he was saying that rap is going to get jealous of him rocking out? But that’s not going to stop him? Or something to that effect. Help me make sense of this. LOL
ill Mami: In his defense, I have heard his earlier stuff and a video on VH1 Soul that I kind of liked. “Soobax” I think. He has performed with Damian Marley and Mos Def before.
Butta: Oh really? This was my first time hearing anything of his. Not exactly my cup of oolong, but I’d be interested to hear something else. With less screaming.
ill Mami: At the end of the song he says, “I don’t care if you don’t get it.” Good, because I don’t.
Butta: The verses were chill, but I wanted to find a mosh pit when the chorus came on…and run in the other direction.
ill Mami: I’m sure that mosh pit you’re wishing for smells of old beer and patchouli.
Butta: Old beer and patchouli? NO MA’AM!
ill Mami: I really want to like this cat because he’s like the best of everything I like: consciousness, hip hop, Africa, rock music, but it really fell short.
Butta: I wanted to like it, too, but something was missing.
ill Mami: He did a track called “Kicked Pushed” with the Lupe beat, and it was STILL lacking. Dayum! I might have to let him go.
Butta: To use the words of your boy Teddy P., “I think you better let it go…”
ill Mami: Haha! Don’t get me started on TP!
ill Mami: Just because K’Naan’s from a war-torn land, a good emcee that does not make.
Butta: True, just look at 50 Cent. Zing!
ill Mami: Hee hee! So the consensus is that rap is not jealous at all, methinks.
Butta: I second that emotion.
ill Mami: How’s that for injecting Elizabethan vocab unnecessarily?
Butta: You’re such a wordsmith. Well, I guess we can put this one to bed.
ill Mami: Like EPMD! “Putting heads to bed” copyright Erick Sermon.
Butta: On that note, let me go listen to some real hip-hop now.