Release Date: Jan 24, 2012
Record label: A&M
Genre(s): Rap, Pop/Rock
In a mainstream rap landscape where crime bosses like Frank White and Larry Hoover are idolized, and success is defined by the requisite amount of imported cars and “model broads,” a rapper like K’Naan is an anomaly. He’s laser-focused on dreams, peace, and unity for the greater good. He’s already made a global impact, as his biggest song-to-date, “Wavin’ Flag,” became the official anthem of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
On “Better” from K’Naan‘s new EP, the Somali-born rapper sings “Waitin’ for a Wavin’ Flag in the FIFA /I was a dreamer…” He’s referring to the resounding success of “Wavin’ Flag”, the cut from his 2009 record, Troubadour, that became an anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Yet, K’Naan admits as many failures as successes in ”Better”, leaving no question that, despite his recent international success, he will not be resting on any laurels. While much of the music on More Beautiful Than Silence contains some of the exuberant and spirited positivity of “Wavin’ Flag”, there’s plenty of lyrical darkness in the reminders of Somali atrocities and pain.
The voice that opens K'naan's new EP isn't the rapper's own rangy flow but a reedy, super-polished Nelly Furtado (on Is Anybody Out There?). Not the worst thing - Furtado always exudes geniality - but an indicator, it seems, of a contributor-reliant direction for the Torontonian who found mass global success with 2009 single Wavin' Flag. More Beautiful Than Silence is a glossy sampling of K'naan's post-Troubador work.