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2006 - 13 May - K'Naan

PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2006 1:08 pm
by NormanD
Seq Artist Album Country Label

1 - Sukhwinder Singh, Sapna Awasthi featuring Panjabi MC - Chaiya Chaiya Bollywood Joint - Inside Man (soundtrack) - India - Varese Sarabande

2 - Howe Gelb - Paradise Here Abouts - 'Sno Angel Like You - USA - Thrill Jockey

3 - Gecko Turner - Afrobeatnik Alt Mix - Republicafrobeat Vol 2 - Spain - Love Monk

Radio ping pong with K'naan (*)

4* - Fela Kuti - Water no get enemy - Expensive Shit/He Miss Road - Nigeria - Wrasse

5 - K'naan - Hoobaale - The Dusty Foot Philosopher - Somalia/Canada - Track & Field

6* - Amadou & Mariam - M'Bifé - Dimanche à Bamako - Mali - Because/All Other

7 - Alemayehu Eshete - Betchayen tegodahu - Ethiopiques 8 - Swinging Addis 69-74 - Ethiopia - Buda

8* - Citizen Cope - Pablo Picasso - The Clarence Greenwood Recording - USA - RCA Records (USA)

9 - K'naan - Be Free - Live in Session - Somalia/Canada -

10 - Coasters - Shoppin' for Clothes - 50 Coastin' Classics - USA - Rhino

11* - Bob Dylan - A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall - The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan - USA - CBS

12 - K'naan - I Was Stabbed by Satan - The Dusty Foot Philosopher - Somalia/Canada - Track & Field

13* - Lupe Fiasco - No Place To Go - Food & Liquor - USA - Atlantic Records

14 - Ihashi Elimhlophe - Uqanduqandu (Rhythmic Sound) - Indestructible Beat of Soweto, Vol. 4: Jive Soweto - South Africa - Earthworks [Virgin]

15 - K'naan - The African Way - Live in Session - Somalia/Canada -

16* - Damian Marley with K'Naan - Road 2 Zion - Live Sydney Australia - Jamaica/Somalia/Canada - Unreleased

Live in London:

17 - Baka Gbiné - Boulez Boulez - Gati Bongo - Cameroon - March Hare

18 - Saban Bajramovic - Pena - Beginners Guide to World Music - World Cup Edition - Serbia - Nascente

19 - Cheikh Lô - Ne La Thiass - Ne La Thiass - Senegal - World Circuit

20 - Abida Parveen - Ali Maula Ali - Ishq Qalander (vol 12) - Pakistan - Oriental Star

21 - Tousan [Allen Toussaint] - Whirlaway - The Wild Sound of New Orleans - USA - Edsel

K'naan - the Dusty Foot Philosopher - bulletin

PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 12:55 pm
by Charlie
Can there really be such a thing as a gentle hip hop artist? Well, yes there can and his name is K’naan (pronounced ‘Kay-narn’). If you met him out of context, you might guess he was the author of The Tipping Point, or director of a film that won a prize at the Sundance Festival.

Having been a kid with a gun in Mogadishu, Somalia, at the age of 14 K’naan escaped to Harlem, New York and a year later moved to Toronto, Canada, where he has lived ever since. Over the past five years, he has put together the songs collected on The Dusty Foot Philosopher, most of them dealing with his childhood experiences. But where you might expect bitterness or fury to pepper his songs, instead they are bursting with wry humour, vivid imagery and wise proverbs.

Asked to explain his album title, K’naan said he had noticed that almost every news bulletin covering poverty in Africa would include a shot panning across the feet of children, as if their sandy bare feet somehow communicated more than a shot of their faces might have done. So K’naan took on the role of expressing the thoughts of such children.

Ever since I first began to realise that many African song writers use proverbs to convey thoughts that might be controversial if expressed more directly, it has mystified me that none of them ever chose to represent those proverbs in their English-language songs. Instead they always default to clichés celebrating lovely ladies, sunshiny days and African unity. Most of the songs on K’naan’s album are in English, and he’s the only writer I have encountered who has chosen to adapt African proverbs and an African way of thinking into so many of his songs.

Tonight’s ping pong felt like one long series of volleys, with neither of us missing the table or hitting the net. I chose a couple of tracks from K’naan’s album, and invited him to play a couple more live, with a second voice, guitar and percussion. I felt privileged to be in the presence of a great man, all the more impressive for giving no sign that he realises how special he is. He generously praised newcomers Citizen Cope and Lupe Fiasco, but although I could hear that they both have a facility for words, neither seemed to be in K’naan’s class. But then who is, and who could be?

K’naan and his modestly small ensemble will return to play WOMAD Reading this summer, when I hope they will join us on the BBC Radio 3 Stage for our annual live broadcast from the Festival.

the proverbial Fela Kuti

PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 2:41 pm
by Charlie
email from friend who wishes to remain anonymous:


How about Fela Kuti for using proverbs? Or doesn't that count as English?


Indeed he does, and I should have realised the significance of K'naan's first choice (even though we never got to the vocals of Water Got No Enemy)

Also, I meant to thank Neil Myners for introducing me to K'naan in the first place. Neil produces the Without Frontiers series for Radio 2, and gave me a copy of the CD during the recording of the last series towards the end of 2005, having picked it up during his recent visit to Canada with Bob Harris.

Although one or two other people had mentioned K'naan to me, notably Ilka Schlockermann in an email, I had not done anything about following up their alerts, and had barely registered his name. It took hearing the CD to awaken me. So, thanks Neil.

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 9:50 am
by howard male
Charlie wrote -

Asked to explain his album title, K'naan said he had noticed that almost every news bulletin covering poverty in Africa would include a shot panning across the feet of children, as if their sandy bare feet somehow communicated more than a shot of their faces might have done

What do poets and politicians have in common? Virtually nothing, accept perhaps the ability to offer more than one answer to the same question.

K'naan has also said in an interview that the dusty foot philosopher was in fact one of his three friends who were tragically shot when he was thirteen. Perhaps it just gets to wearing and painful to have to keep revisiting that part of his life for every interview he does. Especially now that it's all there on the album. Plus of course, both answers, and probably several other answers, could all be equally true - that's the mark of a true poet.


PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:34 pm
by Charlie
This show is now in the archive, linked from the Mondomix tab on our homepage

By the way, these Mondomix archives allow you to slide backwards and forwards, any number of seconds or minutes ot at a time, unlike the BBC system that allows jumps forwards of 5 or 15 minutes but no going back except to return to the start.