Shad (Shadrach Kabango) is an amazing talent that slid under my radar entirely. Recently I've gotten my hands on The Old Prince, by way of a friend mentioning that he thought it was the album of 2007. I was shocked, as we had both come to a consensus that The Undisputed Truthwas our pick. Since then I had changed mine to Below the Heavens. While this isn't me changing my opinion, I feel the need to mention Shad's talent, and put him up to tie with Blue and Exile's masterpiece. First I would like you to take a moment read a little bit about Shad and his story.
Shad was born in Ruwanda, and now lives in Canada, going to school working on his masters in liberal studies at Simon Fraser University, part time. In 2005 Shad released his first album When This Is Over with a budget of $17,500, every penny which he earned by winning a contest on a radio station (91.5 The Beat) based around unsigned talent. The first part, the application, was just basically a bio and 2 tracks vs. the same from artists from all over, in similar situations. The finals however was a straight performance for judges. Now what would pull Shad apart from the other every-day-sign-me-please-can-I-borrow-a-dollar artists? Shad pulls out his acoustic guitar and puts down his verses over a self strummed beat. While you don't hear him exhibit his love for the acoustic guitar much on The Old Prince, he still proves to be an artist that the Hip-Hop scene has been craving for a few years coming.
Take a moment now to not listen to a track by shad on last.fm's radio (gasp). Don't Worry you can get to that later. I'd like you to take a moment to watch this:
Playing a guitar while putting rhymes over it is something that has been done, but it rarely comes out sounding like "acoustic hip hop" per se, but normally as a hip hop/rock fusion. The simple rhythmic guitar really compliments his rhymes.
Now I feel the need to bring this up because where I feel that Below the Heavens will be the choice for 2007 on most people's list I beg everyone to pick up this album (put some green in Shad's pocket) and choose for yourself which you prefer for the best of 2007. The more I listen to it the more I feel like I want it to take over the spot. I rarely put things in a list, but if I was hard-pressed I would put this at #2 of 2007. But in my lenient would of constant change this is tied with Below the Heaven's as Album of 2007.