By Gregory AdamsK'naan kicked off his 2012 with the release of the More Beautiful Than Silence EP, but the five-song outing was just a teaser to the rapper's real raison d'etre this year: his upcoming full-length Country, God or the Girl.
A press release explains that the proper follow-up to 2009's Troubadour, which featured the global smash "Wavin' Flag," hits retailers on May 1 via A&M/Octone. The album is said to still raise world concerns, but the effort is also explained by K'naan as an attempt to take a turn for the personal.
A statement from the rapper defines much of Country, God or the Girl's content, such as new tunes "Hurt Me Tomorrow" and "The Sound of My Breaking Heart," as dealing with "the internal wars, rather than the external ones, which I'd been preoccupied with on my previous albums."
"The vulnerability in a song like 'Hurt Me Tomorrow' is not from a macho place, it's about putting yourself at the mercy of someone else's love," he continues. "I think people are tired of hearing the same stories on the radio, about wealthy people who are always winning. It's like nobody is allowed to have a bad day anymore, which I don't find believable or attractive at all."
Collaborations that appeared on More Beautiful Than Silence with Nelly Furtado ("Is Anybody Out There?") and Nas ("Nothing to Lose") will also be featured on the new album, but other guests pop by as well. U2 singer Bono tags along for "Bulletproof Pride," while Will.i.am, Keith Richards,and B.O.B are also slated to appear.
A full tracklisting has yet to be revealed, but upcoming cut "The Seed" was described by K'naan as "punk-rock reggae."