Album : Tao
Label : Secret City
Release date : 1st October 2021
Vinyl colour : Blue
Catalogue Number : SCR125LPX
Barcode : 0680341256016
1. Out of Touch
4. TAO Pt 1
5. Slot Machines
7. Body (No reason)
9. TAO Pt 2
10. Black Averageness
12. TAO Pt 3
Blue vinyl in a gatefold cardboard jacket with printed inner lyrics sleeve. Digital download included.
Over the course of five records to date, JUNO Award-winning Toronto rapper Shad has used an array of old-school tools to tackle modern problems, addressing the indignities and absurdities of our world through a shapeshfiting melange of boom-bap breaks, dusty soul samples, jazzy improvisation, and 10 dollar words rolled into thousand-dollar rhymes. But after weaving his myriad musical and philosophical interests into a narrative socio-political song cycle—2018’s A Short Story About a War—Shad began building his sixth record, TAO, from a much simpler concept: an image of a circle. Though, in true Shad fashion, he saw something much more profound within its basic round boundaries.
“The thing that inspired this record was this image in my mind of a circle, but it’s getting fragmented, and then the pieces start floating away from each other,” he explains. “And that felt to me like a picture of ourselves as individuals. If you think of our humanity as one whole, there’s all these different aspects of that, whether that’s work, or our relationship to the land, or our relationship to the transcendent, or our relationship to our bodies, or to our inner child?”
On a track-by-track basis, TAO examines the many different fragments that make up who we are, forsaking the explicit narrative connectivity of A Short Story About a War for a more implicit thematic framework. And where its predecessor’s intense subject matter naturally chanelled a more intense, even aggressive spirit, the looser structure of TAO allows Shad to return to his “natural strike zone” of more playful, block-rocking bops—the sort of tracks that might make you smile and snicker even as they unpack such thorny topics as race, capitalism, and technological dependency.
Genre: Hip Hop
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