SHAD – ROSE GARDEN
Canadian hip hop artists tend to have a different background story than their average American counterpart. Shadrach Kabango, aka Shad, was born in Kenya of Rwandan parents. Raised in London, Ontario, he eventually earned a business degree from Wilfred Laurier University, and is currently in the great Van City, Vancouver, earning his masters degree in Liberal Studies from Simon Fraser University. I know what you’re thinking – “isn’t that Ol’ Dirty Bastards life story?”. It is that level-headed background that makes his lyrics so easily digested by both young kids and the older crowd. Shad’s lyrics are socially conscious, educated, and most refreshing, self-depricating. But in Rose Garden, it isn’t his lyrics that make it a winner, it is that undeniably catchy and serotonin releasing loop – “I didn’t promise you a Rose Garden. Along with the sunshine, there’s gonna be some rain sometime”. Taken from The Three Degrees cover of (I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden, the loop is the primary reason this song has such a high play count on my iPod. It is the soul sample every rapper wish they had. Lucky for Canada, Shad got it first.