Shad (rapper)

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Background information
Birth nameShadrach Kabango
Also known asShad K.
Born (1982-07-18) July 18, 1982 (age 36)
GenresAlternative hip hop
Occupation(s)Rapper, broadcaster
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active2005–present
LabelsBlack Box Music, Decon
Associated actsLights, Saukrates, Skratch Bastid, City and Colour, Rel McCoy

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 hosted Q on CBC Radio One from 2015 to 2016,[1][2] and hosts the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series Hip-Hop Evolution.

Early life[edit]

Born in Kenya, of Rwandan parents, Shad was raised in London, Ontario.[3] His mother worked as a lab technologist in a London hospital; his father was a machinist.[4] He attended Central Secondary School and 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.[5] The album was recognized for Shad's honest lyrics[6] 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.[7]


In 2007, Shad was signed by Black Box Recordings for a three-album deal and released his second album, The Old Prince.[8] In 2008, that album received a Juno Award nomination for Rap Recording of the Year, and was a short-list nominee for the 2008 Polaris Music Prize.[9] The album was also nominated for two MuchMusic Video Awards.[10]

Shad released his third album, TSOL, in 2010. TSOL was a short-list nominee for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize, received a nomination for a 2011 MuchMusic Video Award, and won the Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year at the 2011 Juno Awards.[11] 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.".[12]

In June 2013, Shad released a collaborative EP with Skratch Bastid entitled The Spring Up.[13] Shad's fourth album,[14] Flying Colours, was released on October 15, 2013.[15] This album was nominated for a Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year in 2014, and was also a short-list nominee for the 2014 Polaris Music Prize.[16]

In 2016, he released the pop-rock album Adult Contempt under the pseudonym Your Boy Tony Braxton.[17] In the same year he collaborated with Tanya Tagaq on "Centre", a track on her album Retribution.

Radio host[edit]

In March 2015, it was announced that Shad would replace Jian Ghomeshi as host of CBC Radio One's Q.[1] In August 2016, the CBC announced that he would be replaced by Tom Power.[18][2]

Hip-Hop Evolution (documentary series)[edit]

In the four-part documentary series Hip-Hop Evolution, Shad interviewed multiple noted hip-hop and rap artists to explore the origins of this music genre. This documentary was featured in 2016 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and shown on HBO Canada[19] On December 2, 2016 Netflix released the series internationally. The series went on to be one of the 2016 Peabody Award winners.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Shad is bilingual, speaking English and French. He holds a business degree from Wilfrid Laurier University[21] and a master's degree in liberal studies from Simon Fraser University.[22]


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)
  • Holy Shad (2014) (with Holy Fuck)
  • 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 Ain't Over" (2012)
  • "Stylin'" (2013)
  • "Fam Jam (Fe Sum Immigrins)" (2013)
  • "The Fool Pt 1 (Get it Got it Good)" (2018)

Guest appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Shad named new host of CBC's Q." CBC News. March 10, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "CBC's Q replacing Shad as host". CBC News, August 15, 2016.
  3. ^ Dixon, Guy (October 29, 2007). "Echoes of hip hop's heyday". The Globe and Mail. p. R3.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Perlich, Tim (February 16, 2006). "Six-string rap: Canuck hiphop threat Shad sticks with guitar". Now. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
  6. ^ "Shad". The Gazette. December 17, 2010.
  7. ^ Quinlan, Thomas (October 2005). "Shad: When This Is Over". Exclaim!. Retrieved January 12, 2008.
  8. ^ Carlick, Stephen (April 6, 2010). "Exclusive: Shad Preps New Studio Album for May Release". Exclaim!.
  9. ^ Warner, Tyrone (March 17, 2011). "JUNO nominee Shad's scholarly days coming to an end". CTV Television Network. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014.
  10. ^ Patrick, Ryan B. (June 2009). "Shad Gets It". Exclaim!. Archived from the original on 2010-09-06.
  11. ^ "Shad nips Drake for rap Juno". Toronto Star. March 27, 2011.
  12. ^ Bernad, Adam (August 30, 2011). "Shad Interview". Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  13. ^ Aborisade, Femi (July 16, 2013). "Shad & Skratch Bastid – The Spring Up". Potholes in My Blog.
  14. ^ Matthews, Aaron (October 11, 2013). "Shad - Flying Colours". Exclaim!.
  15. ^ Hudson, Alex (July 30, 2013). "Shad Sets Release Date for 'Flying Colours,' Releases New Single". Exclaim!.
  16. ^ "Arcade Fire, Drake, Shad make Polaris Music Prize short list". CTV News, July 15, 2014.
  17. ^ "Stream Your Boy Tony Braxton Adult Contempt". Stereogum, July 15, 2016.
  18. ^ "Shad canned from CBC Radio's 'q'". Toronto Sun. The Canadian Press. Retrieved 2016-08-16.
  19. ^ "Original Documentary Series HIP-HOP EVOLUTION Explores the Birth and Far-Reaching Influences of Hip-Hop, September 4 on HBO Canada". Bell Canada. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  20. ^ "The Peabody 30: Award Winners for 2016". The Peabody Awards. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  21. ^ "Shad K : Shad K Is Just Beginning In Never Ending Talent". Soul Shine Magazine. June 23, 2006.
  22. ^ "Arts Convocation includes Juno winner Shad". SFU. Archived from the original on June 15, 2013. Retrieved January 23, 2012.

External links[edit]