AWOL Musicwire: Come Get Yourself Some Canadian Hip-hop!

Chris Lewis

I’m home in southeast Michigan for the summer, and one of the most flavorful of all the cultural oddities here is our proximity to Canada–Windsor and southern Ontario are just across the river from Detroit. This means that we get Canadian TV and radio signals pretty consistently in my house. I never thought I’d pick up on Canadian hip-hop, but I loved “Rose Garden” by Canadian MC Shad when I heard it on the radio.

Shad was raised in London, Ontario after being born in Kenya to Rwandan parents. He’s described in a Toronto Star article as “the Tim Duncan of Canadian rap.” As in, “the rapper-next-door,” with a “low-key, real-dude non-affect.” But “Rose Garden” still produces some pretty clever wordplay:

“I weigh two bucks and if I had two slugs to spray, like ‘rah rah’

Then Glenn Beck better duck like foie gras

Make shots poke his face like Gaga but Momma says forgive

So I’ll give him that bar like a Mars then let him live”

The video is posted below, and you can also find more at Shad’s “Bloggy-Blog.”