After taking people by surprise last month by releasing ‘Out of Touch,’ the first brand-new song since 2018, Canadian rapper Shad is at it again and today unveils a punchy new track and its video titled ‘Work’, as premiered by Complex.
Shad tells us: “Like ‘Out of Touch’, ‘Work’ was another song written pre-pandemic that is (sadly) even more timely now. I knew I wanted to write a song specifically about two aspects of work: One, the way so many of our jobs are disconnected from a sense of meaning and purpose, and from the people and places they impact. And two, just the increasing precarity and scarcity of work. Also as with ‘Out of Touch”, I wanted the song to hold both the irony/humour and heaviness of our situation.” Produced by and featuring Skratch Bastid, this track was built on a blistering sample from art-rockers We Are The City and mixes old and new influences, taking Shad’s flexible flows into exciting new territory. Justin Broadbent who directed the video shares his inspiration behind the images: “I tried to make a classic, in-studio, rap video (think Rakim) but accidentally took an off-ramp, and it became way more grainy punk. As always, Shad delivers on the clever, collaged, comments – so I tried to do the same with the visuals. Watch it loud!”
The last single ‘Out of Touch’ received an overwhelmingly positive response by media and fans alike and was picked up by Brooklyn Vegan, Exclaim!, Strombo, KEXP, American Songwriter and many more. The single also saw Shad landing on billboards and playlist covers across streaming platforms. In addition, last month the renowned Brooklyn-based DJ J. Period released ‘Globetrottin’, a brand-new song featuring Shad and Masego. ‘Globetrottin’ is a playful storytelling track on J. Period’s EP, which also features Black Thought, Dave Chappelle, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and a host of others.
Shad is one of Canada’s most revered rappers, a peerless wordsmith who embodies hip-hop’s power to entertain and educate. Since releasing his DIY debut in 2005, the Toronto-based MC has pushed his style of socially conscious yet infectiously playful hip-hop across five increasingly ambitious albums that have received widespread critical acclaim and coverage in outlets like Rolling Stone, Complex, The Ringer, Fader, NPR, and more. To date, Shad has racked up over 30 million streams, a Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year (for 2010’s TSOL), and four placements on Canada’s prestigious Polaris Music Prize shortlist, most recently for his 2018 concept-album opus, A Short Story About a War. His music has also been heard on TV shows like Snowpiercer, The Murders, Tall Boyz and more. His mission to inspire and inform goes beyond his own music: a former host of CBC Radio’s flagship arts and culture program q, Shad can currently be seen talking shop with the legends of rap on the Emmy/Peabody Award-winning Netflix Original docuseries, Hip-Hop Evolution.