The Knux/K'Naan

ACL Live Shots

The Knux
The Knux (Photo by John Anderson)

The Knux/K'Naan

Oct. 2, Zilker Park

1:30pm is a little early for live hip-hop, no matter who's manning the mic. When it's a group as undeveloped as the Knux, keeping the crowd hyped can prove damn near impossible. Brothers Krispy Kream and Rah Almillio pulled out all the tricks that make her say "Oohh!" though. They called for the crowd to "make some motherfucking noise" time and again, teased Wreckx-n-Effect's "Rump Shaker," and brought the crowd onstage for a dance party. Nothing stuck. Behind a catalog that proved thin given only a sole Interscope debut, 2008's Remind Me in 3 Days ..., the Knux had no move left but to cut out early after "F!re (Put It in the Air)." Three hours later, Toronto-via-Somalia do-it-all K'Naan merged hip-hop with world music in both English and Somali, touching on reggae, rock, and Afrofunk through most of this year's Troubadour. In signature hat and the flyest pants at ACL, he brought both the heat ("Bang Bang," "ABCs") and the hope (a cappella "Somalia" and "Take a Minute") before inciting a sing-along riot for set closer "Wavin' Flag." "That's my 'Redemption Song,'" professed The Dusty Foot Philosopher after touching nearly every heart in the packed Wildflower Center.

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