Thursday, February 14, 2008

News:: Classified, Shad & Friends @ The Marquee

For those not already in the know, there is a rather solid hip hop show going down this Saturday night at the Marquee. Classified is returning to Halifax after a 41-show tour in support of his last release, the b-side and rarity collection While You Were Sleeping, and he's bringing the talented folks from the tour back for a spiffy hometown show. Most are familiar to local hip hop enthusiasts, as Chad Hatcher, J-Bru, DJ IV, and Class' brother Mic Boyd all claim Halifax (and area) as their hometown.

If you've been to the hill before, you know I enjoy Classified's work, and J-Bru also put out a solid album last year. Apparently Mic Boyd is dropping his debut album at some point, and there's a video for the Rakim-esque lead single, Guess Who's Back. But London's (Ontario, not Engerland) Shad K might not be as familiar to folks down here who aren't big into the Canadian hip hop scene.

I've actually wanted to feature Shad on the site since the release of his last album The Old Prince (I say this kind of thing now and then, but in this case I actually sent an email about getting a review copy of the album and didn't hear back, but this is simply background information, not really relative to the point at hand). I've spent the last couple days listening to a stream of Shad's album and it's as eclectic and awesome as you might hope from a man named Shadrach Kabango who plans to wear a shirt saying "black people love feist" to the Junos.

That being said, and even though Shad does play guitar, his album is filled with the type of golden-age influenced hip hop that makes a child of the late 80's/early 90's smile broadly. He's also a very clever guy, and his songs are filled equally with thought-provoking lyrics and memorable punchlines. The big drums and jazzy background elements of I Don't Like To bring to mind A Tribe Called Quest, while Shad does a thinking man's take on the traditional braggadocios track. Brotherman is fantastic, one of the most enjoyable hip hop songs I've heard recently. The soul-infused, orchestra strings of the track give Shad a platform to expound on his take on why major-label hip hop is the narrow-minded mess that it is. Now A Daze is a slice of pop culture and political commentary over a skittering track: "yo this world's so sick, like Neyo's hit, but folks with no OHIP, don't slip". Great lines plus bonus points for scratching on the hook, great stuff. Old school soul horns and flute help Shad put some humour back in hip hop with the very funny Cheap: "Get a good bike. Who I look like, that Lance guy? I ain't pushing no banana seat, looking like some 8 year old kid on your grandma's street". I couldn't agree more. Beatbox and boom bap drums are matched with guitar strums to provide that backdrop for Exile, a very lyrical look at the negative people you would be best to keep out of your life.

Anyway, there's a little mini-review of Shad's album, I think it's fantastic. Unfortunately, I'll be home watching Jamario Moon either winning (or sucking horribly) in the dunk-off and Jason Kapono getting more open looks in the shootout then he's had in all his playing time combined this season, but this should certainly be a great show. Here's a few samples, a song from Class and his brother Mic that also somehow features their father. Shad's amazing Brotherman and the comically enjoyable Help! I Been Robbed from J-Bru.

MP3:: Classified - Love The One You're With f. Mic Boyd & Mike Boyd Sr.
MP3:: Shad - Brotherman
MP3:: J-Bru - Help! I Been Robbed f. GhettoSocks & Jay Bizzy

Posted at 10:35 AM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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