A spectacular collaboration between Brooklyn-based producer J.Period and Somali rapper K’naan, here is Don’t Think Twice. The song is one of the duo’s best off their trilogy of albums, a series called The Messengers, tributes to Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, and, in this case, Bob Dylan. All interspliced up with personality and interviews from the man in question, this amiable recreation of Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” uses the original chorus, and includes original verses by K’naan, as well. Purty verses, at that.
Lyrically and stylistically, K’naan’s contribution to the song is sizable. Both stanzas start with a sizzling couplet, such as, “Daybreak elevates the fear of heartbreaks / Embrace with the chase we all got to taste,” and “He spoke like the poets, Baldwin and Byron / And all his woman heard was a siren.” K’naan’s flow is unmistakable, as is his accent. Distinct in the way he draws out certain words to fit the verse, K’naan is, in a way, is very much like Dylan. Like if you tried to sing it yourself, it wouldn’t work. In terms of the song, it sounds less like irony than harmony.
They both sing about lost love with a certain knowing. Dylan, confident in rhythm: “It ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe, / If ’in you don’t know by now / An’ it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe, / It’ll never do some how.” K’naan, sad but matter of fact: “It’s no one’s fault, sometimes love falters, / Alters the state and you feel mortars / Exploding inside your hardened heart / And you thought you’d be fine apart.”
With its rich, soothing sound, this song is the balm. J.Period inflates the song with even more fullness in the single version, but his tracks are clear here. From the guitar that pops almost synthetically but wholly soulful, to the humming bass, to the snappy drum rolling the song along – actually a sample of Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” which Kid Cudi also kinda covered.
This song represents one of the most holistic collaborations between K’naan’s spittin, the trubte artist’s participation, and J.Period’s manipulation amongst The Messengers trilogy. Don’t think twice, and download the rest of it fo free!