Troubadour (K'naan album)

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Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 24, 2009 (iTunes release June 29, 2010)
GenreCanadian hip hop, worldbeat
ProducerGerald Eaton, Brian West, Kerry Brothers, Jr., Bruno Mars
K'naan chronology
The Dusty Foot on the Road
More Beautiful Than Silence
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.

The album contains songs produced by Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, and Ari Levine, before they became The Smeezingtons, ("Bang Bang" and "Wavin Flag")[2] and also after ("Wavin' Flag" remixes).[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Allmusic3.5/5 stars[5]
Blender3.5/5 stars[7]
Boston Globe(positive)[8]
Robert Christgau(A-)[9]
Entertainment Weekly(B)[10]
The New York Times(positive)[11]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[14]

K'naan's second album has received generally positive reviews, compiling an average score of 74 on Metacritic.[4] Billboard described it as "socially alert and frequently brilliant".[15] 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".[5] The album was shortlisted for the 2009 Polaris Music Prize.[16] named Troubadour one of the best Rap Albums of 2009.[17] Troubadour was also included in PopMatters' list of top 60 albums of 2009, at a respectable 43rd position.[18] The album fetched K'naan three Juno Award nominations and he ultimately won Juno artist of the year.[19] 'The Independent gave it a perfect 10 out of 10 rating.[20]


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, 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]

2."ABCs" (featuring Chubb Rock)3:09
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
9."America" (featuring Mos Def & Chali 2na)4:45
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] Exclusive
15."Wavin' Flag (Celebration Mix)" (featuring 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
Champion Edition
15."Does It Really Matter"3:54
16."Wavin' Flag (Coca-Cola Celebration Mix)"3:32
Champion Edition (UK Edition)
15."Does It Really Matter"3:54
16."Wavin' Flag (Coca-Cola Celebration Mix)"3:32
17."Wavin' Flag (Celebration Mix)" (featuring of The Black Eyed Peas & David Guetta)3:30
Sample credits

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.[21] 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
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[23] 57
Mexican Albums Chart[24] 67
South African Albums Chart[25] 20
UK R&B Chart[26] 22


  1. ^ Hannon, Gerald (December 2008). "The Prince of Little Mogadishu" Archived 2011-01-02 at the Wayback Machine, Toronto Life 42 (12): 73–78.
  2. ^ "K'naan - Troubadour". Discogs. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  3. ^ "K'naan - Wavin' Flag (Coca-Cola Celebration Mix)". Discogs. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  4. ^ a b "Reviews for Troubadour by K'NAAN". Metacritic. Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Jeffries, David. "Preview: K'Naan Troubadour". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  6. ^ Billboard review Archived April 3, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Blender review
  8. ^ Boston Globe review
  9. ^ Robert Christgau review
  10. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  11. ^ The New York Times review
  12. ^ Love, Joshua (March 13, 2009). "K'naan: Troubadour | Album Reviews". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  13. ^ PopMatters review
  14. ^ Rolling Stone review Archived February 21, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ K'naan Troubadour on Metacritic
  16. ^ "Fucked Up Win Polaris Prize". Clickmusic. 2009-09-23. Archived from the original on 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
  17. ^ "Best Rap Albums of 2009 - Top 10 Hip-Hop Albums of 2009".
  18. ^ "The Best 60 Albums of 2009".
  19. ^ K'Naan Wins Artist of the Year at Juno Awards - Spinner
  20. ^ Gill, Andy (June 25, 2010). "Album: K'Naan, Troubadour Champion Edition (Octone/A&M)". The Independent. London.
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 25, 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^
  24. ^ Archived 2011-03-14 at WebCite
  25. ^ "RISA Top 20". Recording Industry of South Africa (in Afrikaans). Archived from the original on June 25, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
  26. ^ Archive Chart