Update: Click “Listen Now” above to watch K’NAAN’s “Is Anybody Out There?” video.
With his rise to prominence over the last several years, K’NAAN has demonstrated himself to be much more than a rapper. In addition to dope tunes, he provides a much-needed voice to the struggles and dreams of Third World dwellers and an urgent perspective on global affairs. On newly-released EP single Is Anybody Out There?, however, the Somali-Canadian rhymesayer turns his attention to issues that may hit a little closer to home for the average Booth reader. Hitmaking producer (and OneRepublic frontman) Ryan Tedder handles production on this anthemic selection, layering strings and music-box synths over a syncopated rhythm section as K’NAAN tells the stories of a young woman and man plagued by loneliness and insecurity—the former ashamed that her Hispanic features don’t jibe with prevailing standards of beauty, and the latter driven to drug abuse by the pain of being ignored by his father. Nelly Furtado assists on the guest tip, encapsulating these lost souls’ cries for help in a soaring chorus and bridge. Released today, K’NAAN’s More Beautiful Than Silence is available now on iTunes. Keep it locked for further details on the artist’s junior album, scheduled to drop this spring.