2022 Polaris Music Prize Short List Spotlight – Shad


Honest, concise, and surprisingly positive within its subject matter, celebrated rapper and broadcaster, Shad, has returned to the Polaris Music Prize radar with TAO.

Never one to shy away from socio-political topics, TAO is observational and almost satirical in how it describes the over-commercialized, capitalist world we live in. Tracks like the energetic “Slot Machines” is as lighthearted and easy as the seemingly overnight process that one can find themselves in debt, while “Slow” reminiscences of days gone while staring at our devices are framed within rhythms that force the listener to well, slow down and contemplate.

Meanwhile, tracks like “GOD” and “Work” are optimistic in how they speak careful truths about the structures of power in complicated parts of life, while “Black Averageness” is celebratory of the mundane life of the ordinary person of colour living life as is.

With TAO, Shad becomes a five-time Polaris Music Prize Short List nominee – the most out of any other artist.

Will Shad come out victorious? Find out on September 19 by tuning in to CBC Gem, CBC Music’s Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter pages, and globally at cbcmusic.ca/polaris at 8:00 p.m. ET. to learn the winner live from Toronto’s Carlu. General admission tickets to the gala are still available via Ticketmaster.

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