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Shad – Boarding Pass EP

a2784842677_10     “Hip-Hop ain’t dead, it lives in the North”… and no I’m not talking about Drake. Shad has continuously proven himself to be one of the most talented and socially conscious MC’s in the game with his albums The Old Prince, Juno-winning TSOL, and Flying Colours. On all of these albums Shad has showcased his ability to deliver bars on bars while still addressing contemporary issues, and on his most recent project, Shad teams up with producer DJ T.Lo, who produced TSOL’s leading single “Rose Garden”, to continue this trend of high quality traditionalist Hip-Hop.

Just a short 5 songs, this compressed EP is a non-stop delivery of Shad’s expertise. The opening track “Fire” hits you with a fast paced beat that gives the man the opportunity to just hit you with straight fire. He starts the track off with an homage to RapGenius, and ends the song with the lyric “still the champ”, a perfect transition into track 2: “Always Winnin'”. In this track Shad does his signature, extra-canadian, bragging while still sounding a bit humble technique that finds him shining over a choppy and groovy beat.

The following two tracks are the two most stand-out on the album, with both bringing forward exemplary instrumentals (be prepared to see them both on Swagazine Weekly’s Best Beats of 2014) and incredible lyricism. The first is “Hang On”, which starts off with a nice throw back intro that then builds into an incredible piano sample driven beat that gives Shad an already textured canvas to add his flare to. On this track Shad discuss the status of the music industry, saying “Now they love Louis, CK and David Chappelle because truth is, Comedians speaking more truth than we in music. It’s like we traded mediums, Now we the ones who act foolish.”

Track 4 is easily the best beat on this album. “Take Flight”, where Shad talks about the ups and downs of touring as an MC, shows us the ability of DJ T.Lo. This sample driven complexity that is perhaps one of the most funky beats of 2014, is surely the stand-out on this EP.

Shad and T.Lo close out the EP with the much more soulful jam “Knock”, a beat driven by its power vocal sample. The tune’s first verse see’s Shad recounting his determination to make it in the business, where the second verse takes a turn as he addresses a number of social issues with the line “Cause more often than not, the word “choice” just means more shopping”.

Perhaps an EP has the upper hand. With just 5 or so songs, an EP is always condensed and concise; there’s no filler because there is no room for it. With “Boarding Pass”, this is exactly the case. Shad comes through with his most consistent and flawless effort to date. All 5 tracks are beautiful instrumentals that allow Shad to do what he does best: bring bars that make you laugh and think at the same time. So perhaps as an EP, this album has the upper hand, but regardless this is one of the best Hip-Hop projects of the year.


2 thoughts on “Shad – Boarding Pass EP

  1. Reblogged this on Freshly Squeezed.


    Posted by owenhann | December 23, 2014, 11:08 pm


  1. Pingback: Swagazine’s Picks: Top 10 Beats of 2014 | Swagazine Weekly - December 31, 2014

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