Shad is Canada’s patron saint of self-deprecating rap. He’s also one of the nation’s best emcees. On Flying Colours, the 31-year-old’s fourth studio album, Shad delivers a hip hop disc that is less boom bap and more electronic, has fewer hooks and more backing vocals, while still boasting strong lyricism and flow. Radio-worthy hits “Stylin’” with Saukrates and “Remember to Remember” featuring Toronto electropop singer Lights are standout – albeit conventional – tracks, while “Fam Jam (Fe Sum Immigrins)” sounds more like Shad’s second, and best, record The Old Prince, popping with an electric guitar sample and reflective storytelling. This isn’t Shad’s best album, but it’s good. And that’s good enough for this reviewer.

Published in Volume 68, Number 6 of The Uniter (October 10, 2013)

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