June 24, 2010

tsol by shad.

There was a time during high-school when I really liked hip-hop. Maybe it was just because my friends did or maybe it was because my ears were younger and my mind liked/could handle the loud beats. I don't really listen to it now because the content in most hip-hop/rap is not something I want to fill my mind with and not a lifestyle I want to emulate. (At this point in my life, I'm more readily drawn to something like Sleeping at Last or Bon Iver.) However, when it comes to Shad and his new rap album TSOL (on iTunes or find it at HMV in the 'urban' section), I can't stop listening to it. In fact, I like the entire album so much I don't think I can even pick a favourite song. To paraphrase Brian Reagan, 'they're all favourites.'
Shad is an amazing lyricist. I'm always left feeling challenged by one lyric or another to evaluate my life and how I'm living. This isn't mindless rap. Shad's lyrics are clever, are flavoured with irony, and are always thought provoking. Every time I listen, something new catches my attention.
I feel like I really get to know Shad as a person and that we could be friends. I think one of the things I most appreciate about this album is the place of humility that it comes from. Throughout the entire album you can hear the obvious talent Shad has and yet he constantly announces that being a rap artist is a blessing and something he didn't quite expect to happen. It is refreshing to see those roots so clearly.
This album is pleasing to the ears, the mind, and even the soul. I hope you pick up a copy today and let your own mind be wowed.

Want more Shad? Check out his blog here, his MySpace here and Facebook here, and articles from the Toronto Star here and here.

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