Mixing introspective street rhymes with a ballad style chorus isn’t anything new in hip-hop. This style allows for worthy lyrics to escape prior to the sing-a-long hook that begs to get stuck in the heads of the listeners. Somali-Canadian artist K’NAAN has made several of these songs before (just check out Wavin Flag), but the worldly hip-hop singer and rapper didn’t have the large critical and commercial expectations that he now faces. In an attempt to get back in the swing of things, K’NAAN has released new single Nothing to Lose, featuring the legendary Nas. The rags-to-riches theme runs throughout the song as both K’NAAN and Nas discuss doing menial jobs, hustling and having to navigate obstacles; there aren’t many places with more obstacles than Somalia, even Queensbridge. Produced by Chuck Harmony, the backdrop to the song is simplistic and light, allowing it to hold up through multiple repetition. For more from K’NAAN, his new five-track EP, More Beautiful Than Silence, also featuring fellow Candian Nelly Furtado, is set for release on January 24, followed by a new full-length album set to be released this spring.
Written by JC Poppe on 01/19/12
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