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Shad explains 14 of his most obscure verses
By
Editorial Staff

Published

October 15, 2013

Genre

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Shad is notoriously clever when it comes to wordplay and multi-level metaphors. Sometimes his references can fly over people's heads. We got Shad to deconstruct some of his more complicated bars for those of us who are having trouble keeping up.

Shad explains 7 obscure Canadian references

Line: "That new school looks more crazy than OCAD."
Song: "Nowadaze"

"Comparing the crazy 'new school' fashions of the day to the Ontario College of Art and Design's new school building. Knowledge of downtown Toronto architectural history is required for that one."

Line: "Though they never hit college like the Danforth."
Song: "Keep Shining"

"Never hit college as in never attended post-secondary. Also College Street and Danforth Avenue in TO run parallel to each other and therefore Danforth never intersects with or 'hits' College. See what I did there? Yeah."

Line: "The Mississauga/saga continues."
Song: "Rose Garden"

"This could also be interpreted as the 'Mrs. Saga' continues. As in woman problems. Either way, shouts to the 905."

Line: "East of Adelaide, I miss you."
Song: "We are the Ones"

"East of Adelaide — also known as EOA — is my old neighbourhood in London. 519: I do miss you, indeed."

Line: "What a little rascal: Cash Crop."
Song: "Old Prince"

"A nod to classic Canadian rap album Cash Crop by seminal Vancouver group the Rascalz."

Line: "And the bill for my cell is/ High C notes: Wynton Marsalis/ Man, why Telus gotta be so selfish?"
Song: "Telephone"

"Referring to Canadian cellphone provider Telus, which delights in robbing me monthly."

Line: "If I'm not in the Dot, find me in B.C./ East Van is the riding, I'm the MPP/ 'Cause I really run that party, not the NDP/ I'm playing NPG Prince and 10cc."
Song: "Stylin"

"Shouts to NDP MP Libby Davies and NDP Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Mike Harcourt, both representing where I reside in East Vancouver. But I doubt Mike can select '80s hits to rock a house party like I can. No disrespect."

Line: "If I'm not in the Dot, find me in B.C./ East Van is the riding, I'm the MPP/ 'Cause I really run that party, not the NDP/ I'm playing NPG Prince and 10cc."
Song: "Stylin"

"Shouts to NDP MP Libby Davies and NDP Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Mike Harcourt, both representing where I reside in East Vancouver. But I doubt Mike can select '80s hits to rock a house party like I can. No disrespect."

Shad explains 7 obscure basketball references

Line: "When I'm writin', I repeatedly edit words and re-work tracks/ I'll admit, I'm like the Raptors: I got weak first drafts."
Song:
"Compromise"

"Comparing the Raptors' poor first round draft picks to my bad first drafts when I write lyrics. (Note: I will gladly re-edit that again if we draft Wiggins next year.)"

Line: "This is rap for the Raps fans/ DeRozan on the break/ over breaks/ this is that jam."
Song: "Gymnopedie 1.2"

"'On the break' as in on the breakaway. 'Over breaks' as in rapping over break beats. 'Jam' as in sweet tune, also jam as in slam dunk. Also Wiggins 2014."

Line: "Put the metaphor in baller slang/ In what you call the game/ I ain't hall of fame/ But I'm Bynum and Gasol: this is all my lane/ Your little Calderon raps too small to hang."
Song: "Give You all I Can"

"More digs at my beloved Raptors."

Line: "With the volume cranked/ I'll be ballin' like Tim Duncan: callin' bank."
Song: "I Don't Like To"

"Tim Duncan is known not only for ballin' but specifically for scoring shots off the backboard, also known as bank shots. In pick-up games, players usually call out 'bank' before they shoot a bank shot, otherwise it looks like they were trying to get it straight in but shot it too hard and only scored accidentally, which still counts but is definitely ugly."

Line: "Keep talking 'Heat' but when it's on, they just pass to Wade/ Claiming that they on the corners shooting like they Battier."
Song: "Heat"

"Elaborate usage of Miami Heat lineup (Dwyane Wade and Shane Battier) to describe fraudulent tough talk — some rappers talk about 'heat' (gun talk) but hide or 'pass' when they're in an altercation. This despite the fact they claim to be on corners (street corners) shooting — like Shane Battier of the Miami Heat who is known for shooting jump shots from the corners of the court."

Line: "Classic as a Bob Cousy pass back to Havlicek."
Song: "Classic"

"This is as throwback a hoops reference as possible: Cousy and Havlicek played together for the Boston Celtics in the 1950s. "

Line: "This clip's small like Chris Paul/ I do this assist y'all too/ Not to just ball/ I'm trying to get you open/ While I'm trying to find the right path/ Off the screen / So I can kick it to you like that."
Song: the live version of "Long Jawn"

"If you can decode all of the basketball references in this passage, I award you a slow clap and a free vinyl."


What is your favourite reference from Shad's lyrical arsenal? Let us know in the comments below. This is the topic of discussion today on CBC Radio 3.

Shad will also be giving us a glimpse into his day-to-day life on Radio 3's Instagram account today.