Over the past four years, Rob Dyer has grown Skate 4 Cancer from a skateboard trip inspired by Terry Fox to a music tour that has featured City and Colour and Protest the Hero. While on tour, Dyer gives talks at high schools and Flash presentations during concerts about the importance of disease prevention through healthy lifestyle.
After hip-hop artist Shad did a mini-tour with S4C last year, Dyer says, “It just made sense that he was on this bill. He is really good at getting the message across to people and talking about something he believes in.”
Though Shad clearly has something to say, he confesses: “I never really thought of myself as a message-oriented artist.” Instead Shad uses his music as an outlet for an open expression of his personal development. “I’m trying to share as honestly and creatively as possible the general issues of trying to become person that trusts in himself and his own ideals and goes for it.”
Shad’s new album, The Old Prince, is testament to his dynamism as a MC and musician. At the foundation of Shad’s sound is a clever lyrical flow that eases in and out of varying sounds. His singsong rap style on “Compromise” bears a smooth similarity to Kanye. The sparse and relevant “I Don’t Like To” rings like Gang Starr. Jocular jam “The Old Prince Still Lives At Home” recalls the halcyon days of Fresh Prince or Digital Underground.
Shad’s creative energy is best absorbed at his live show, where he plays guitar while rapping and kicks freestyle flows that are tight and highly entertaining. In his element touring with Skate 4 Cancer, Shad’s upcoming show at The Pavilion is most likely the best chance to catch this talented artist at the top of his game.