K’naan’s “If Rap Gets Jealous” A Heavy Track

If Rap Gets Jealous,” from K’naan’s album The Dusty Foot Philosopher Deluxe Edition, is lyrically perhaps the most powerful song on the album. It is humble yet defiant. It is ultra personal but also puts the state of modern hip-hop under scrutiny.

The song is a release for K’naan, who uses the platform to reflect on his inner turmoil caused by years of living in a war-torn country and losing members of his family to the violence. K’naan uses his wrenching experience as a refugee to question the present state of some hip-hop, which has become a caricature of violence and thugery.

Give the lyrics a read and we think you’ll agree that this is a powerful song that needs to be heard.

Lyrics:

Verse

So good things come to those who wait

sure I’ve waited about “Pop pop pop pop”

that’s four cousins shot

I got grudges, let’s discuss it, my music needs no touch ups

I got a long record of fucks ups, trust me,

you don’t know a past as weird as mine

or a life as hard as mine I had to hustle

chop, sell drugs, grind

whatever you wanna call it is fine but just listen

and don’t pre judge, I don’t want anyone

dismissing me as another thug or some shit like that

no sir I fall I would get right back

I got circumstances but let me stop dancing around the issue and tell you straight forth

I’m poor, a refugee been in prison and survived a war

I come from, the most dangerous city in this universe

you’re likely to get shot at birth, so how could rap quench my thirst?

I don’t even hear verses no more

I hear jerking off punks with lip glosses and purses

I don’t see nobody operating shit anymore I see nurses

fuck that, I’m gonna stay alive I’d rather do a stage dive

Hook

And if rap gets jealous, cause I rock heavy

it don’t worry me if motha fuckaz don’t get it

and if rap gets jealous, cause of where I’m headed

I used to be public enemy don’t forget it

and if rap gets jealous, cause I rock heavy

it don’t worry me if motha fuckaz don’t get it

and if rap gets jealous, cause of where I’m headed

aggression obsession with pain live again.

Verse

So yea basically I gotta release occasionally

I gotta let you know what’s goin on with me and facing me are, some tough choices

I got a good side and bad side inside my headI hear screams not voices

and I can’t lie I ain’t got shit, I ain’t got to brag

I’m hard pressed for some cash to send to my ill dad

and you’re so superficial, of course it’s fo shizzl

that my choice is to piss on you boys

cause my mission is the world

to know, my name, my aim, is plainly success

but I still gotta come fresh, so how could rap quench my thirst?

I don’t even hear verses no more

I hear jerking off punks with lip glosses and purses

I don’t see nobody operating shit anymore I see nurses

fuck that, I’m gonna stay alive I’d rather do a stage dive

Hook

Verse

It’s what is, it’s pain you know what I’m saying

I don’t know man, it’s like you spend years developing your artistry and perfecting your skill

and you can’t do shit with it, that’s gotta be fucked up you know what I’m saying

that’s gotta be fucked up, just imagine, imagine you build a fucking castle and you can’t live in it

that’s what is is, you can’t live in it, and you got problems, you got family to feed

I got family to feed, moment of truth right?

and I still gotta come fresh, so how could rap quench my thirst?

I don’t even hear verses no more

I hear jerking off punks with lip glosses and purses

I don’t see nobody operating shit anymore I see nurses

fuck that, I’m gonna stay alive I’d rather do a stage dive

The Background:

K’naan, an award-winning singer and musician, was born in Somalia, a country that has not had a functioning government since 1991. K’naan’s family moved to Harlem after catching the last domestic flight out of Somalia and eventually settled in Ontario, Canada. Using his ability to blend Western and African influences, K’naan’s music is a fusion of world music and hip-hop that borrows from the protest songs of Bob Marley, the hip-hop lyricism of Mos Def, and the storytelling traditions of Somalia. Despite the violence K’naan has experienced, his lyrics address the possibilities for positive change and peace. His album, The Dusty Foot Philosopher Deluxe Edition, will be released for the first time in the U.S. by the Bay Area-based record label, Interdependent Media on June 24, 2008.

2006 Winner Juno Award Winner- Best Rap Album*

2006 Polaris Music Prize Nominee 2007**

BBC Radio 3 Winner- Best New Artist, World Music

*The Juno Awards are the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy Awards

**The Polaris Music Prize is a music award annually given to the best full-length Canadian album based on artistic merit, regardless of genre, sales, or record label

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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