While Somalia isn’t the hip, burgeoning tourist spot on most people’s vacation list, the streets of Mogadishu are starting to rouse rap lyrics from Somali expatriates. K’Naan spins lyrics about malnutrition, tribal warfare, and the politics of contemporary Somalia from Toronto where his family moved 18 years ago. The chorus to his new song ‘Somalia’ is spot on:
So, what you really know about the pirates who terrorize the oceans?
It’s unclear what K’Naan really knows about the pirates, but either way, it’s timely. K’Naan’s response to his first impressions of the North American rap scene is priceless:
Oh wow, that’s kind of cute of American gangsters.’ But it isn’t hardcore, it isn’t that bad. Let’s get things in perspective, you know?”
He helped get things in perspective for the UN in 1999 when he performed a spoken word piece at a UNHCR event and publicly criticized their not-so-successful mission to Somalia.