Comparing K'Naan's second album Troubadour to what I heard of him at Lollapalooza in 2008 is almost impossible. Sure his signature is still there with message based rhythmic rap, but the production values of big time hip hop makes this album special.
It's hard to take any American rapper serious, especially when singing simultaneously about hard life on the streets and their brand new Maybach, but after listening to K'Naan, any street cred that American rappers claim to have is gone. Sure you may have grown up in Compton, but even that is a far cry from the war torn streets of Somalia.
The album mixes a bunch of different styles and doesn't fall into a rut of every song sounding the same. Plus there are some great guest spots by Mos Def, Chubb Rock and of all people, Kirk Hammett.