The buzz around K’naan was already building in early 2009 when Kanye West posted the video of K’naan’s song “America” on his massively followed blog.
Born Keinan Abdi Warsame in 1978, K'Naan is a Somali-Canadian poet, rapper and musician whose name means "traveler" in the Somali language.
A child refugee turned hip-hopper, K'naan courted controversy when in a recent radio interview he came to the defense of Somali pirates that, he said, were a backlash against western companies illegally fishing and dumping toxic waste in the Indian Ocean.
"Massive Western companies would come to Somalia and dump nuclear toxic waste containers on the shore because there was no government controlling the shorelines. So these pirates initially went into the ocean to make them pay for that sort of thing. So they just take everything for ransom. That actually helped us clear our environment," he said.
Meanwhile, the World Cup final draw in Cape Town has unleashed a stampede for tickets for the tournament, with close to a quarter-of-a-million requests for tickets received in just two days.
"See the champions take the field now/ Unify us, make us feel proud", is a K’Naan track that will be played in 150 countries, feature in TV and web ads and be conspicuous at every match during the showpiece event.