MC Shan

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MC Shan
Birth nameShawn Moltke
Born (1965-09-06) September 6, 1965 (age 56)
OriginQueensbridge, Long Island City, Queens, New York, New York, U.S.
GenresHip hop, R&B
Occupation(s)Rapper, singer, songwriter
Years active1985–present
LabelsMCA, Bridge Records, Warner Bros., Cold Chillin'

Shawn Moltke (born September 6, 1965) better known by his stage name MC Shan, is an American hip hop and R&B recording artist.

He is best known for his song "The Bridge" produced by Marley Marl, and for collaborating with Snow on "Informer", the international number-one hit single. MC Shan is one of the most parodied hip hop artists of the 20th century (along with KRS-One), owing to the Bridge Wars. MC Shan's New York birth records state he was born in Queens, New York.


In 1985, Shan started on MCA Records with his first and only MCA single, "Feed the World". He was also interviewed in the 1986 cult documentary Big Fun In The Big Town.[1] MCA were not sure about what to do with hip hop, thus he was dismissed from the label. Not long after, Shan signed to Cold Chillin' Records due to his relationship with Marl, and joined Marl's Juice Crew.[2] His debut album Down by Law was released on Warner Bros in 1987.[2] MC Shan was one of the first hip hop artists to have a major record deal with Warner Bros.

He also found himself to be a key player in the noted hip-hop rivalry, known as the Bridge Wars, between the Juice Crew and Boogie Down Productions. Controversy rose from his most famous single "The Bridge b/w Beat Biter". The A-side, one of the first song to sample "Impeach The President" (before was "Get Physical" for Steady B, also produced by Marley Marl) tells the story of how his crew got started in Queensboro Bridge. It also provided a template for other artists to use it as Queens representative anthem. The B-side is a mild-tempered diss-track aimed at LL Cool J for his song Rock The Bells which took the beat from "Marley Scratch", a promo by Marlon and Shawn from 1985 on NIA Records. Although at the time this practice was not allowed, KRS-One however responded with a parody of "The Bridge" named "South Bronx," and the Juice Crew sampled that song with a reply, "Kill That Noise." Slate magazine described the conflict: "In 1986, it was a beef that launched the star of KRS-One."[3] A week later, Boogie Down Productions then released "The Bridge is Over," widely celebrated among hip-hop fans as the highest rated diss track. Somehow all the negative attention went to MC Shan. Years later, MC Shan remade "The Bridge" into "Da Bridge 2001", and strongly denied the bridge "was over", saying:

The Bridge was never over
We left our mark
This jam is dedicated to you and your boys
I brought my Queensbridge thugs to kill that noise

Shan's second album, Born To Be Wild, followed in 1988 and revealed Shan's b-boy persona, with production once again by Marley Marl.[2] 1990's Play it Again, Shan displayed a more mature style but it also proved to be his last album.[2] When Cold Chillin's sub-label Livin' Large was active, Shan was listed as one of its artists but only released two singles ("Hip Hop Roughneck" b/w "Watchin' My Style" and "Pee-Nile Reunion" (prod. Large Professor, feat. Kool G Rap, Neek The Exotic, Snow, and Diesel) b/w "Don't Call It A Comeback"). Despite the fact that he focused more on his production career (like Snow's 12 Inches of Snow, which featured "Informer", on which he appeared) he recorded "Da Bridge 2001" for Nas' 2000 compilation called QB's Finest, which also featured Mobb Deep, Cormega, and Nature.

Shan had a brief stint in films, playing a bit role in Steve Martin's L.A. Story as Rappin' Waiter. Shan is credited as the guest rapper on the Sum 41 song "Dave's Possessed Hair/It's What We're All About" in the album Half Hour of Power.

In June 2017, MC Shan released his first new studio album in 27 years titled Bars Over Bullshit, which was released digitally through iTunes and Google Play.


Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions

Down by Law 40
Born to be Wild
  • Released: October 25, 1988
  • Label: Cold Chillin'/Warner
  • Format: CD, LP, Cassette, digital download
Play it Again, Shan
  • Released: April 11, 1990
  • Label: Cold Chillin'/Warner
  • Format: CD, LP, Cassette, digital download
Bars over Bullshit
  • Released: June 25, 2017[5]
  • Label: Pioneered Dis Recordings
  • Format: LP, digital download
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Unreleased albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]

List of compilation albums
Title Album details
Battle for Rap Supremacy
(with KRS-One)
The Best Of Cold Chillin': MC Shan
  • Released: May 22, 2001[7]
  • Label: Landspeed Records
  • Formats: CD, LP
Q.B.O.G.: The Best of M.C. Shan
  • Released: March 20, 2012[8]
  • Label: Cold Chillin', Traffic Entertainment Group
  • Formats: CD


List of extended plays
Title Details Track listings
Untitled EP[a]
  • Released: unknown date[9]
  • Label: MC Shan Music Inc.
  • Formats: LP
Track listing
  1. "To Thy Be Done" (featuring Kork Screw)
  2. "Get Your Groove On"
  3. "Key To Lock"
  4. "Woman Of The Decade" (featuring Lady Ann, Muriel Fowler & Snow)
  5. "6 Ft. Underground"


As lead artist[edit]

List of singles, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US Rap
"Feed the World"[12] 1985 Non-album single
"Jane, Stop This Crazy Thing" 1986 Down by Law
"Beat Biter"
"Left Me Lonely"
(featuring TJ Swan)
1987 71
"Down by Law (Remix)"[13]
"I Pioneered This" 1988 Born to Be Wild
"Juice Crew Law/They Used to Do It Out in the Park"[14]
"It Don't Mean a Thing" 1990 29 Play it Again, Shan
"Ain't It Good to You"[15]
"Time for Us to Defend Ourselves"[16] 1991
"Hip Hop Roughneck"[17] 1993 Non-album single
"Pee-Nile Reunion/Don't Call It a Comeback"
(featuring Kool G Rap, Neek the Exotic, Diesel & Snow)[18]
Non-album single
"The Bridge/They Used to Do It Out in the Park"[17] 1995 Down by Law
"Kill That Noise/I Ran The Game"[18]
"Shan & The Queens Connect"[14] 1998 Non-album single
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that country.


  • 1985: "Marley Scratch"
  • 1985: "Feed The World"
  • 1986: "The Bridge"/"Beat Biter"
  • 1986: "Jane, Stop This Crazy Thing"
  • 1987: "Left Me Lonely"/"Kill That Noise"
  • 1988: "A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste'
  • 1988: "I Pioneered This"
  • 1988: "Juice Crew Law" / "They Used To Do It In The Park"
  • 1990: "I Ran The Game"
  • 1990: "It Don't Mean A Thing"
  • 1991: "Time For Us To Defend Ourselves"
  • 1991: "Ain't It Good To You"
  • 1993: "Hip Hop Roughneck"
  • 1993: "Pee-Nile Reunion" / "Don't Call It A Comeback"
  • 2001: "Da Bridge 2001" (w QB's Finest)
  • 2012: "Let's Bring Hip Hop Back"
  • 2013: "Everybody Wanna Be A Big Star Drive A Big Car"



  1. ^ "Published as "Shan".


  1. ^ "Big Fun in the Big Town". Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d Colin Larkin, ed. (1998). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Dance Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 218. ISBN 0-7535-0252-6.
  3. ^ Hsu, Hua. Where's the Beef?It's on YouTube. Why that's a problem for hip-hop., Slate, 6 July 2007.
  4. ^ "Stetsasonic Chart History". Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  5. ^ "Bars over Bullshit by MC Shan". Apple Music.
  6. ^ "MC Shan - You Love to Hear the Story". AllMusic. TiVo Corporation. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  7. ^ "MC Shan - The Best of Cold Chillin'". AllMusic. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
  8. ^ "MC Shan - Q.B.O.G.: The Best of M.C. Shan". AllMusic. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
  9. ^ Untitled EP (track listing). Shan. MC Shan Music Inc. MCSM-101696.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  10. ^ "Monie Love - US R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Retrieved 6 September 2021.
  11. ^ "Monie Love - US Hot Rap Songs". Retrieved 6 September 2021.
  12. ^ "MC Shan - Feed the World (LP - MCA #MCA23603)". AllMusic.
  13. ^ Down By Law (Remix) (track listing). MC Shan. Cold Chillin'. 1987. CC 104.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  14. ^ a b Juice Crew Law/They Used To Do It Out In The Park (track listing). M.C. Shan. Cold Chillin'. 1988. 0-21159.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  15. ^ "MC Shan - Ain't It Good to You [Vinyl Single] (12 inch Vinyl Single - Warner Bros. #21726)". AllMusic.
  16. ^ "MC Shan - Time for Us to Defend (12 inch Vinyl Single - Warner Bros. #21809)". AllMusic.
  17. ^ a b "MC Shan - Hip Hop Ruff Neck (12 inch Vinyl Single - Livin' Large Records #118)". AllMusic.
  18. ^ a b "MC Shan - Penial Reunion (12 inch Vinyl Single - Livin' Large Records #127)". AllMusic.

External list[edit]