Canada's about to be known for an unexpected musical genre

Photo by Christine Lim

The Canadian music scene isn’t exactly known for its rap superstars—Neil Young and Bryan Adams more often come to mind. But there are two young MCs looking to change all of that.

Sure, Drake is the obvious one, but let me introduce you to Shad. This soulful rapper from London, Ontario, put out one of the most celebrated Canadian hip hop albums to date with 2007’s The Old Prince. Beyond critical praise, the sophomore effort put him in line for the coveted Polaris Music Prize, and based on the release of “Yaa, I get It” and “Rose Garden“, the first tracks off his third disc, TSOL, he’s about to dig his way deeper into Polaris’ good books.

The skill and swagger that go into Shad’s rhymes are one-of-a-kind (although he often draws comparisons to Kanye West), and to hear a rapper who can spit into the mic with a social conscious is refreshing to say the least.

Looks like Canadian rap is about to enter the spotlight. Drake and Shad go head-to-head on May 25th when both TSOL and Thank Me Later hit stores and iTunes.