Troubadour (K'naan album)

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Troubadour
Studio album by K'naan
Released February 24, 2009 (iTunes release June 29, 2010)
Recorded 2007–2008
Genre Canadian hip hop, world music, afro beat, alternative hip hop, rap rock, neo soul, reggae fusion
Length 55:43
Label A&M/Octone
Producer Gerald Eaton, Brian West, Kerry Brothers, Jr., Bruno Mars
K'naan chronology
The Dusty Foot on the Road
(2007)
Troubadour
(2009)
More Beautiful Than Silence
(2012)
Singles from Troubadour
  1. "ABCs"
    Released: November 18, 2008
  2. "Bang Bang"
    Released: December 2, 2008
  3. "Wavin' Flag"
    Released: March 18, 2009

Troubadour is the second studio album by Somali-Canadian hip hop artist K'naan, released February 24, 2009.[1] The album features performances by Kirk Hammett, Chubb Rock, Chali 2na, Mos Def, Damian Marley, and Adam Levine. Production was completed by Track and Field, a team composed of R&B artists Gerald Eaton and Brian West.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[2]
Billboard (positive)[3]
Blender 3.5/5 stars[4]
Boston Globe (positive)[5]
Robert Christgau (A-)[6]
Entertainment Weekly (B)[7]
The New York Times (positive)[8]
Pitchfork Media (6.5/10)[9]
PopMatters (8/10)[10]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[11]

K'naan's second album has received generally positive reviews, compiling an average score of 74 on Metacritic. Billboard described it as "socially alert and frequently brilliant".[12] David Jeffries of Allmusic called Troubadour a "rewarding, often eye-opening spectacle", praising the selections for the guest artists and referring to K'naan as "ridiculously talented".[2] The album was shortlisted for the 2009 Polaris Music Prize.[13] About.com named Troubadour as one of the best Rap Albums of 2009.[14] Troubadour was also included in PopMatters list of top 60 albums of 2009, at a respectable 43rd position.[15] The album fetched K'naan three Juno Award nominations and he ultimately won Juno artist of the year.[16] The Independent gave it a perfect 10 out of 10 rating.[17]

Singles[edit]

  • "ABCs" was released as the album's first single. It peaked at #75 on the Canadian Singles Chart.
  • "Bang Bang" was released as the album's second single Featuring Adam Levine Of Maroon 5. It peaked at #33 on the UK R&B Chart.
  • "Wavin' Flag" was released as the album's third single (first in UK). The single was later remixed and used for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It is his most successful single to date. It charted within the Top 5 in the UK, Netherlands, Norway, Italy, Ireland, France, Canada, Scotland, Spain, as well as others.
  • A remix of "Wavin' Flag" featuring will.i.am & David Guetta was also used to promote the World Cup as well as his album; a music video was also made for the remix. The video also featured will.i.am and David Guetta.

Promo singles[edit]

  • "Dreamer" was released as the album's first promotional single.
  • "Somalia" was released as the album's second promotional single.
  • "I Come Prepared" was released as the album's third promotional single.
  • "If Rap Gets Jealous" was released as the album's fourth and final promotional single.

Licensed songs[edit]

"ABCs" is used in the video game Madden 09 by EA Sports and the 2009 film The Trotsky, while "Dreamer" is used in promotions for the NFL Draft on NFL.com, and was used by ESPN during the national broadcast of the UConn-Kentucky men's basketball game on December 9, 2009. "I Come Prepared" is used in the video game Fight Night Round 4, also by EA Sports. "Wavin' Flag" is used in the video game NBA 2K10, which is a 2K Sports video game. Coca-Cola has announced that a remixed version of "Wavin' Flag" will be the official anthem of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This version also appears in Konami's PES 2010. "Take a Minute" is used in Dane Tudor's award winning part of the ski movie Everyday is a Saturday by Poor Boyz Productions. "Bang Bang" is featured in the 2010 feature film The Karate Kid.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "T.I.A."   3:38
2. "ABCs" (featuring Chubb Rock) 3:09
3. "Dreamer"   4:32
4. "I Come Prepared" (featuring Damian Marley) 4:08
5. "Bang Bang" (featuring Adam Levine of Maroon 5) 3:06
6. "If Rap Gets Jealous" (featuring Kirk Hammett of Metallica) 3:39
7. "Wavin' Flag"   3:40
8. "Somalia"   3:33
9. "America" (featuring Mos Def & Chali 2na) 4:45
10. "Fatima"   5:01
11. "Fire in Freetown"   4:36
12. "Take a Minute"   4:06
13. "15 Minutes Away"   4:56
14. "People Like Me"   6:16

Bonus tracks[edit]

Amazon.com Exclusive
No. Title Length
15. "Wavin' Flag" (featuring will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas & David Guetta) 3:30
16. "Wavin' Flag (Coca-Cola Celebration Mix)"   3:32
17. "Wavin' Flag (Coca-Cola Celebration Spanish Mix)" (featuring David Bisbal) 3:52
18. "Biscuit"   3:49
Champion Edition
No. Title Length
15. "Does It Really Matter"   3:54
16. "Wavin' Flag (Coca-Cola Celebration Mix)"   3:32
Champion Edition (UK Edition)
No. Title Length
15. "Does It Really Matter"   3:54
16. "Wavin' Flag (Coca-Cola Celebration Mix)"   3:32
17. "Wavin' Flag" (featuring will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas & David Guetta) 3:30

Chart positions[edit]

In the U.S., the album sold over 15,000 copies in its first week of release and debuted at #32 on the Billboard 200.[18] The album has sold approximately 82,000 copies in the US as of August 2010. Only the 'champion edition' was released in the United Kingdom on July 16, and charted on the UK R&B Chart at a peak of 22.

Chart (2009–2010) Peak
position[19]
U.S. Billboard 200 32
U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums 33
U.S. Billboard Top Rap Albums 12
Canadian Albums Chart 7
Japanese Albums Chart[20] 57
Mexican Albums Chart[21] 67
South African Albums Chart[22] 20
UK R&B Chart[23] 22

References[edit]