If you are talking straight lyricists – artists who can paint pictures in your mind with the use of clever wordplay, it doesn’t get much better than Shah. Steeped in consciousness, battle-rap quality, and even commercial awareness, you would be hard-pressed to find many MCs better than this Toronto rapper.
And in a pure sign of maturation and self-confidence, Shah has selected to remain independent notwithstanding the focused interest his music and videos have attracted from the industry right from his debut with ‘Don’t Do It Mandela’ and the follow-up ‘Ridin Shotty With God’. His honors include being ranked one of Toronto’s top new artists (Top 6 From The 6ix) to being crowned one of the Top 10 Desi Rappers in the world.
Shah’s latest single release, entitled ‘Pay Day 71’ refers to females earning only 71% of the pay that males earn. The first thing you notice is that the production is complimentary rather than overpowering in the overall performance. The music plays more like a soundtrack than a cheap jukebox.
‘Pay Day 71’ is a themed track, in both the song and the video, a rare occurrence in Hip-Hop, where an artist is able to stay disciplined enough to emphasize a handful of important points over music that forces you to listen to the song rather than simply bump it in your system or leave it on as background music. Hypnotic, emphatic and unrelenting, you actually want to go where Shah’s flow is taking you.
Don’t get me wrong, this track certainly makes your head bob and nod, but the centerpiece is Shah’s matchless ability to paint lyrical pictures. He is not just a narrator but orator. On this track Shah shows that there is a difference, and it’s a major one. His flow of commentary, description and information is evident on ‘Pay Day 71’.
The track is sure to get everyone’s attention – indeed it already has everyone talking. Deep and short, Shah gets the job done in less than three minutes. Proving that if you’re able to paint immediate, clear pictures in the listener’s mind, you have no need for overlong sermons to impress and provoke thought.
It appears that Shah is committed to marrying his foundational lyrical style with hot commercial tracks and it’s a formula that works, as he has the best of both worlds on ‘Pay Day 71’. If it’s true that the beat, tune, production rhyme style and lyrical strength is what hip-hop is all about, then this single has it all.
Shah is rising and ready to snatch the Canadian crown…for now, while he continues to plot his universal onslaught!