Hey America! Like a nation of fools, we haven’t turned “Is Anybody Out There?” by K’Naan featuring Nelly Furtado into a massive hit. I know we’re busy. There’s always a baby or a tornado or a Mad Men episode to distract us, but that’s no excuse. This song has been out for weeks, and it’s barely scraped the iTunes bestsellers list.
Take a listen to what you’ve been missing. It’s cool. I’ll wait.
Right?!? I mean, I know the video is cliche. It’s basically Pink’s “Perfect” mixed with that old commercial about parents who do drugs, but it can’t diminish the clever lyrics. K’Naan freshens up the “troubled teens” meme by telling specific stories about specific kids, and his rapping and singing add spice to the mix.
Plus, Nelly Furtado really has something to do. A lot of featured performers get stuck repeating the same line over and over—like Hayley Williams on “Airplanes”—but Furtado tackles the chorus and the bridge. The track wouldn’t be the same without her energy and warmth.
Now that you know, go spread the word. America needs hot hits, so let’s make this one happen.
Mark Blankenship has written about pop music for NPR and The New York Times, and you can follow him on Twitter at @IAmBlankenship. He’s willing to be your featured rapper.