Shad (rapper)

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For other uses, see Shad (disambiguation).
Background information
Birth name Shadrach Kabango
Also known as Shad K.
Born (1982-07-18) July 18, 1982 (age 33)
Genres Alternative hip hop
Occupation(s) Rapper, broadcaster
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 2005–present
Labels Black Box Music, Decon
Associated acts Skratch Bastid

Shadrach Kabango (born July 18, 1982), better known by his stage name Shad or Shad K., is a Canadian alternative hip hop recording artist and broadcaster. He was named as the new host of the CBC Radio One program q in March 2015.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Kenya, of Rwandan parents, Shad was raised in London, Ontario.[2] His mother worked in London as a hospital lab technician; his father as a machinist.[3] He attended the École secondaire Gabriel-Dumont.



His debut album When This Is Over (2005) was self-made, financed with the $17,500 he won from 91.5 The Beat's Rhythm of the Future talent competition during his time as an undergraduate student at Wilfrid Laurier University.[4] The album was recognized for Shad's self-deprecating lyrics[5] and focus on social causes—for example, the track "I'll Never Understand" examines the Rwandan genocide and includes poetry written by his mother, Bernadette Kabango.[6]


In 2007, he was signed by Black Box Recordings for a three-album deal and released his second album, The Old Prince.[7] In 2008, The Old Prince received a Juno Award nomination for Rap Recording of the Year, and was nominated for the 2008 Polaris Music Prize.[8] The album was also nominated for two MuchMusic Video Awards.[9] Shad released his third album, TSOL, in 2010. TSOL was nominated for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize, a 2011 MuchMusic Video Award, and won the Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year at the 2011 Juno Awards.[10] On beating out Canadian compatriot Drake for the Juno, Shad said in an interview: "I did not think for a second that I would win. Not for one second. He's massive. He's massive in the States, he's massive in Canada."[11]

In June 2013, Shad released a collaborative EP with Skratch Bastid entitled The Spring Up.[12] Shad's fourth album,[13] Flying Colours, was released on October 15, 2013.[14] This album was also nominated for a Juno Award in 2014, and was also a short-list nominee for the 2014 Polaris Music Prize.[15]

In March 2015, it was announced that Shad would replace Jian Ghomeshi as host of CBC Radio One's Q.[1] His formal debut as host of the program was on April 20.

Style and influences[edit]

Music critics have compared his style to that of K-os, Aesop Rock and of Common, and also to a "London (England) sound circa 1990".[2]

Personal life[edit]

Shad is bilingual, speaking English and French. He holds a business degree from Wilfrid Laurier University[16] and a master's degree in liberal studies from Simon Fraser University.[17]


Studio albums[edit]


  • La Cassette Mixée (2007)
  • Besides (2011)


  • Two Songs (2011) (with Dallas Green)
  • Melancholy and the Infinite Shadness (2012)
  • The Spring Up (2013) (with Skratch Bastid)
  • Boarding Pass (2014) (with DJ T.LO)


  • "I Don't Like To" (2008)
  • "Brother (Watching)" (2008)
  • "The Old Prince Still Lives at Home" (2008)
  • "Compromise" (2009)
  • "Yaa I Get It" (2010)
  • "Rose Garden" (2010)
  • "We, Myself and I" (2010)
  • "Keep Shining" (2011)
  • "Give You All I Can" (2011)
  • "It Aint Over" (2012)
  • "Stylin'" (2013)
  • "Fam Jam (Fe Sum Immigrins)" (2013)

Guest appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Shad named new host of CBC's Q.". CBC News. March 10, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Dixon, Guy (October 29, 2007). "Echoes of hip hop's heyday". The Globe and Mail. p. R3. 
  3. ^ Kaplan, Ben (January 16, 2008). "'He knows who he is': And you should, too: Why Shad K is Canada's best rapper". National Post. p. AL1. 
  4. ^ Perlich, Tim (February 16, 2006). "Six-string rap: Canuck hiphop threat Shad sticks with guitar". Now. Retrieved July 26, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Shad". The Gazette. December 17, 2010. 
  6. ^ Quinlan, Thomas (October 2005). "Shad: When This Is Over". Exclaim!. Retrieved January 12, 2008. 
  7. ^ Carlick, Stephen (April 6, 2010). "Exclusive: Shad Preps New Studio Album for May Release". Exclaim!. 
  8. ^ Warner, Tyrone (March 17, 2011). "JUNO nominee Shad's scholarly days coming to an end". CTV Television Network. 
  9. ^ Patrick, Ryan B. (June 2009). "Shad Gets It". Exclaim!. 
  10. ^ "Shad nips Drake for rap Juno". Toronto Star. March 27, 2011. 
  11. ^ Bernad, Adam (August 30, 2011). "Shad Interview". Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  12. ^ Aborisade, Femi (July 16, 2013). "Shad & Skratch Bastid – The Spring Up". Potholes in My Blog. 
  13. ^ Matthews, Aaron (October 11, 2013). "Shad - Flying Colours". Exclaim!. 
  14. ^ Hudson, Alex (July 30, 2013). "Shad Sets Release Date for 'Flying Colours,' Releases New Single". Exclaim!. 
  15. ^ "Arcade Fire, Drake, Shad make Polaris Music Prize short list". CTV News, July 15, 2014.
  16. ^ "Shad K : Shad K Is Just Beginning In Never Ending Talent". Soul Shine Magazine. June 23, 2006. 
  17. ^ "Arts Convocation includes Juno winner Shad". SFU. Retrieved January 23, 2012. 

External links[edit]