Thanks to acts like Moka Only, K'Naan, k-os, Drake and Shad, Canadian rappers have really broken through in both the hip-hop mainstream and underground. And while he's been a mainstay in the latter of those rap realms since 2005, Shad is seeing his stock rise exponentially lately. His very, very good third album, TSOL, jumped to the top of the Canadian iTunes charts and he's also seeing tons of love thrown his way on hip-hop blogs.
One of the reasons for that -- aside from his obvious skills -- is the video for "Rose Garden," which pays homage to the Pharcyde's classic "Drop" video. Beyond the clever visuals, "Rose Garden" displays Shad's knack for blending uplifting lyrics with extremely smart wordplay. You hear the latter of those in the following bars: "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." That's not fair.
TSOL is out now in Canada.