Friday, January 15, 2010

Hip-Hop on ACL

I must admit that I am not usually a hip-hop fan. Most of the mainstream hip-hop that I have been exposed to has been all about bitches, hos, gunz, Benjamins, or gangstas. In other words, not my thing. But two albums came out this year that made me reconsider the genre.

First, for months I had been hearing about the Toronto via Mogadishu rapper K'Naan, but it wasn't until I listened to the Polaris Music Prize gala, where his performance made me step back. Whoa, this dude is the real thing. Amazing performance, and and even better album.

Wavin' Flag.mp3

Mos Def has a long career as a musician, producer, and actor. In fact, he helped produce some of Troubadour. A friend recommended this record to me, and its incredible.

Workers Comp.mp3
Buy: The Ecstatic (2009)

K'Naan and Mos Def are the first hip-hop artists to ever appear on Austin City Limits. This appearance is pretty remarkable as ACL is usually reserved for Americana, country, or roots artists. ACL's next few guests include The Avett Brothers, Heartless Bastards, Kris Kristofferson, and Steve Earle. But what could be more "American" (or "Canadian" for K'Naan) than Hip-Hop? Especially when their songs tell stories in the tradition of the great country and folk artists.

K'Naan and Mos Def appear on ACL tomorrow, Saturday, January 16. Check your local PBS listings. In the Toronto area, we get WNED out of Buffalo, and like so many things in Buffalo, we are a week behind. K'Naan and Mos Def will air on ACL on Friday, January 22 at 11:30 pm.


dj three6t said...

Have you checked out 'Black on Both Sides' yet? If you dug 'The Ecstatic' you'd really enjoy Mos Def's older material.

Cowbelle said...

a) I am like the whitest person on the planet b)and I love this K'Naan album c)I learned about K'Naan on NPR (see a)