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Shad vs Classified

Joel Barnhart
March 15, 2011

As I mentioned in my previous article, I'm an unrelenting hip hop fan. Since I got back into the genre, I've discovered that not all hip hop comes from New York or California. Canada has a vast pool of hip hop talent, and while Canadian artists may not get the recognition of their American counterparts, they're every bit as talented.

One of the first Canadian hip hop artists I'd discovered upon getting back into rap was Shad. Hailing from London, Ontario (though born in Kenya), his style is often compared to that of K-os (also Canadian) and Common. He has three albums so far, When This Is Over (2005), The Old Prince (2007) and the new album TSOL. His lyrics range in content from self deprecating humour, to social causes, such as the Rwandan Genocide. Speaking of self deprecating humour, I encourage everyone to check out his video for The Old Prince Lives at Home.The song is basically about being cheap, and the video is modeled after the opening credits from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Also worth checking out is the video for Rose Garden, reminiscent of the video for Drop by The Pharcyde. The video starts backwards, and then halfway through, starts playing the same footage forwards. Also, the song is catchy as sh*t. You can check both videos out


(Editors Note: Also this one is some of the sweetest free stylin ever)

Watch them, or I'm not gonna be your friend anymore.

Another fantastic artist from the great white north is Classified. I first heard him while working in an Italian restaurant a few whiles back. Classified is a native of Nova Scotia, where he started his own label, Half Life Records, and released his first full length album in 1995. Since that first album, he has released 12 other albums. His 14th album is actually dropping later this month, on March 22nd, 2011. He has several videos, including one for a track called Oh Canada, that would make even the most indifferent Canadians feel patriotic. In addition to this, He's partnered with some of Canada's most prominent MC's such as Choclair and Maestro Fresh Wes, in addition to opening for Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Nas, Nelly and The Game.

You can check some of his tracks here:

Canada has plenty other fantastic rappers, but I bring up these two specifically, because they're both performing here soon. Shad will be performing at L3 on April 10th, and Classified will be at Barracuda Pretty on April 4th. I plan to be attending both shows, and subsequently writing about them.

Be there, or be somewhere boring.
Shads Video