They'll Call Me Freedom: K'naan on "Democracy Now!"

For today's "Democracy Now!," Amy Goodman interviewed Somali-Canadian rapper K'naan, whose politically-conscious music explores the complicated landscape of war-torn Somalia. Today also marks Hillary Rodham Clinton's meeting with Somalia's new president, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, in which she confirmed the U.S.'s support of the new transitional government and condemned extremist militants in the country.

In Goodman's interview, K'naan talks politics: his relationship to Somalia, the current climate of his country, U.S. involvement in the region and Obama, and piracy. He talks about his life story: how he moved just before war broke out to New York, then Toronto, how he taught himself English, and how music played a role in his healing process. And he talks about how the two--the personal and the political--are intertwined through music: the potentiality in rap to remain relevant, his lyrics, and the meaning behind some of his songs.

In this excerpt, he talks about the relevance of rap, how it has and can be used as a medium for the marginalized:
I think that hip-hop’s strength has always been when it was kind of the journalism of a community that’s otherwise inaccessible to major—to mass media or mass culture. And so, I think that if it—when it continues to be that way, it will still be relevant. But for a long time, it’s been taken over by corporate interests, really, and so the hip-hop that you’ve been getting for a while has been more of—you know, employed, I think, for more production and more things, more—when it comes from the have-nots, I think, when it goes global, like with what I’m doing with it, I think it’ll continue to have its relevance in some way.

Be sure to check out this great interview, or read the transcript.

Also be sure to keep up on K'naan's tour dates!
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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:37 PM

    Great post, and yes, this was an interesting interview. The experiences of people from war-torn countries is almost unfathomable, and we are all so lucky that a mind like K'naan's was able to break free and share those experiences with the rest of us. Hopefully it makes people question what their country is doing to other people!


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