Shad
When This Is Over


4.5
superb

Review

by JacoIII USER (2 Reviews)
September 13th, 2008 | 39 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A Canadian MC delivers one of the best rap albums of the 2000s. A classic that belongs in every library.

I can never figure out how I want to start my reviews. It’s not writer’s block, it’s more of a fear. I find it so difficult to put my thoughts and opinions into the public domain. Just by writing these reviews I give people insight into what I feel and the things I relate to. So, it’s hard for me to understand how artists can be so comfortable with displaying themselves to possibly millions of people and this is part of the reason I have such respect for most musicians.

Most.

As far as hip-hop goes, introspection is at a premium. As the focus of hip-hop consumers has turned towards the brand aspect of the rappers (t-shirts, hats etc.) and away from art performers in the vein of Tribe and Common have been totally overlooked. The rap industry, once full of rebellion, wit and passion, has basically devolved into the repetition of three basic themes: guns, hoes and drugs.

Before I start sounding like every suburban, WASP parent allow me to add that there are socially conscious (and humorous) artists out there. Kanye has delivered many excellent songs on the topics of religion, self-consciousness, materialism and the like and Lupe Fiasco is a master storyteller when he steps up to the mic but the majority seem to avoid this. It’s commonly held that all art contains a piece of the artist but I guess I have a hard time believing most rappers only care about gangster paraphernalia.

Enter Shadrach Kabango (known professionally as “Shad”), a man who uses his music as a kind of diary. I have his bio right here meaning I can literally list facts and pretty much finish the "artist" part of this review in 30 seconds and move onto the "art" section. However, with Shad, this would be a mistake. The "artist" and the "art" are very much connected on "When This is Over". For example, I can tell you in an instant where he went to university (Wilfrid Laurier University, he graduated with a business degree) but you have to listen to New School Leaders before you realize how even in the classroom his mind was feverishly composing. I can also tell you his mother’s story (Bernadette Kabango, a poet and survivor of the Rwandan genocide) but you have to experience his mother/son duet on I'll Never Understand before you can see how Bernadette's eventual acceptance of her past confused and annoyed Shad.

On the opening track New School Leaders he confides his insecurities about his rapping ability, writer’s block and fears about the real world. This song also takes the unique form of a two-person discussion with Shad playing a depressed, frustrated rapper and a confident, and successful MC.

Shad’s humor seems almost effortless and is weaved into every song. Usually this is obvious but sometimes it takes multiple listens for the puns to slowly emerge. For example, on I Get Down he talks about why he avoids the traditional subjects of today’s rap:

Never had to spray slugs
So I don’t play thug
And try to fit with the killers
Like OJ’s glove.


Later on he boasts “I’m the biggest thing out of Canada since Pamela’s double Ds” showing that confidence and self-promotion are still a staple of the hip-hop game. But this display of braggadocio becomes strange when compared to the introspective musings of the next track, Out of Love.

Out of Love is a meditation on the over sexualized image many young women display. Shad begins the song by discussing how he views these girls (“Why’s that silly pseudo-pimp pressed against your pink dress"”) but he never really believes that they are stupid enough to think any of these guys have interest beyond a one-night stand:

Oh miss, I try boo but I’m a guy too
And so I’m qualified to say
That what a lot of guys display
Are just some hollow lies devised to get play
But I won’t apologize ‘cause most of ya’ll ain’t slow chicks
With no wits, so when a pro approaches you should know this
It’s easy decoding the motives of these horny guys
You’re roses but the thorns you expose keep me torn inside


Beyond biting wit there is also depth in Shad’s debut. The closing track, A Story No One Told, is the heartbreaking tale of an old man being awakened by his memories of childhood only to see death at his bedside. He pleads to be allowed to write everything contained in his long life. Using a piece of chalk he writes upon the streets of the town. The next morning everyone is stunned by the life painted over the town, the beautiful story of an ordinary man growing old.

I sincerely hope you at least search some of the tracks on YouTube, it will be well worth your time.

PROS
- Ridiculous flow
- Intelligent and introspective lyrics
- Humour In almost every song

CONS
- Some songs (Wild, Real Game) lose their luster after a few listens


user ratings (70)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
bastard
September 13th 2008


3432 Comments


needs paragraph spliting.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
September 13th 2008


4970 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Please rewrite this... You can definitely write, you just need to organize your thoughts a bit better and veer away from the track-by-track review formula. A good rule of thumb is to try sticking around 400-600 words.

JacoIII
September 13th 2008


25 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I pretty much wrote this in one go. So if it seems a bit unorganized (and it does, looking back) there's a reason.



It does need paragraph splitting (good call) but mostly what I'm thinking is kicking out most of the intro and just editing the track by track stuff into more of a paragraph structure rather than the kind of bullet point sentences I have right now.



The only reason I posted this review half finished was to get people interested in the album. It's really really good and almost nobody knows about it.

go0sebumpz
September 13th 2008


1 Comments


where can i download this album sounds pretty good. i'd like to hear it

JacoIII
September 13th 2008


25 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

EDIT: Didn't know I couldn't post links to megaupload. My mistake.This Message Edited On 09.14.08

JacoIII
September 14th 2008


25 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Edited. Hopefully all concerns are addressed.



Comments still appreciated.

Tyler
Emeritus
September 14th 2008


7925 Comments


Don't post links, this isn't a file sharing forum.
I have the Old Prince (plan on reviewing it) and it's amazing. Such a shock to hear Canadian hip-hop that doesn't suck. How does this comparE?

MeloProgcore
September 14th 2008


53 Comments


SPUTNIK MUSIC DOES NOT CONDONE ILLEGAL FILE SHARING

JacoIII
September 14th 2008


25 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I personally prefer "When This is Over" to "The Old Prince" but they are very different albums.



The Old Prince still has fantastic songs (Still Lives at Home, Voice Like an Angel etc.) but the overall package of "When This is Over" keeps bringing me back. Especially the last song.



I HIGHLY recommend it if you enjoyed "TOP"

kingsoby1
Emeritus
September 15th 2008


4970 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This isn't bad.



Edit: and also your rewrite is a lot better, sorry for negging initially.This Message Edited On 09.14.08

handoman
September 15th 2008


2386 Comments


Just listened to a few songs on Itunes. It sounds pretty good.This Message Edited On 09.14.08

marksellsuswallets
September 15th 2008


4845 Comments


Only other Canadian rapper I've actually heard is Snow...but I'm assuming this is nothing like that haha...

Tyler
Emeritus
September 15th 2008


7925 Comments


Considering Snow isn't a rapper, no, this is nothing like that.

JacoIII
September 15th 2008


25 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thank you for being honest. I knew I had to rewrite but your criticism helped a lot.

Pointro
September 17th 2008


14 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Honestly, this is a great album. I prefer The Old Prince, though.

JacoIII
September 17th 2008


25 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

They're both awesome but I find myself listening to When This is Over more than The Old Prince (although they're pretty much the only rap I listen to these days).

JacoIII
September 22nd 2008


25 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Where the hell did all these views come from? Did someone link to this review somewhere?

Tyler
Emeritus
September 22nd 2008


7925 Comments


I've been talking about him on the site, and it's one of the top hits when you google Shad (which people are doing because of the Polaris nomination). I'm going to review The Old Prince as well as post a show review of his last gig at the Mod Club. I'm just waiting on an interview to accompany the live review This Message Edited On 09.22.08

SnackaryBinx
September 22nd 2008


2309 Comments


You'd be surprised, my first review (Shai Hulud) has almost 40,000 views. I was surprised as hell.

JacoIII
September 22nd 2008


25 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cool, at the risk of sounding like a cult, it's good to get the word out.



I'm looking forward to your review of TOP, Cocaine. I'm kinda working on one myself.



11,000 views in ONE day? Sounds a little crazy to me.



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