The Power of Storytelling with Shad

Written by Jamie Hunter

December 07, 2020

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Some of you may know Shadrach Kabango (aka Shad) as a Juno-winning rapper. Other’s may be aware of him as the one-time host of CBC Radio Q. Maybe it’s as the the host of the Peabody and Emmy award-winning Netflix documentary series Hip-Hop Evolution.

Regardless of your familiarity with the London, Ont.-via-Kenya pop culture polymath, one thing rings true: Shad is an incredible storyteller. And he’s told a lot of stories over the better part of two decades and five solo records. 

When he first started rapping, it was the entertainment factor that roped him him in. He fed off the reaction he would get from his friends after free-styling a verse or two. But when Shad began to take music more seriously, he realized it was a platform to really work out ideas and issues that would hopefully resonate with broad spectrum of listeners. 

“I’m interested in sparking conversation,” Shad recently told Leading With Nice. “I’m interested in putting ideas into my music that are a little bit unique in the landscape of music. Part of what really motivates me is trying to have some kind of unique contribution to culture. And I do think that my music is also very much about ideas, about sparking thought and sparking conversation. There are artists out there who are excellent instrumentalists or producers. That’s not my expertise. My thing is coming up with some interesting ideas and new ways of saying things or new things to say.”

In the latest Leading With Nice podcast, Shad speaks about not only telling stories, but receiving stories. And his leadership shines in situations where he is given the opportunity to do both.

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