About This Episode

K'naan is a Somali-born poet, writer, activist, singer, and Hip Hop artist who has performed with superstars like Nas, Mos Def, and Lenny Kravitz. His style combines elements of Hip Hop, Jazz, World Music, and sounds from his native Somalia. Fleeing Mogadishu at the start of the Somali Civil War, K'naan and his family moved to Toronto where he taught himself English, mimicking the style and flow of Hip Hop records sent from his father in New York City. Best known for his single Wavin' Flag, Coca Cola's anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, K'naan credits his grandfather for his own appreciation for the beauty of language and communication.

Today K’naan works with a number of cause-related organizations, primarily focusing on foreign aid to East Africa. He was recently tapped to perform at the very first Kennedy Center Honors dedicated to the music of Hip Hop, a week-long event dubbed One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide.