Sept. 15, 2023Print | PDF
Renowned hip hop artist and Laurier alumnus Shad (Shadrach Kabango), a Rwandan-Canadian rapper with an illustrious career spanning seven full-length albums and three EPs since his debut in 2005, is set to return to Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo campus for an exclusive residency from Sept. 25 to 29, 2023. With a Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year in 2011 and an impressive five albums shortlisted for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize—the most shortlist nominations of any artist in the prize’s history—Shad brings a wealth of experience and insight to this engaging series of events.
In addition to his musical achievements, Shad has left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape as the host of the CBC radio show Q and as the guiding voice behind Netflix’s Peabody and Emmy Award-winning documentary series, Hip-Hop Evolution.
During his residency, Shad will engage with Laurier students, staff, alumni, and the broader community through a series of insightful and inspiring events. Click here for a full calendar of events.
The residency will kick off with a compelling talk titled "Navigating Technology and Change for Creatives" on Monday, Sept. 25 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. where Shad will be joined by fellow Laurier alumnus Daniel Habashi (BBA ’05), a prominent leader in the world of tech and culture. Together, they will look at the music industry through the lens of technology and delve into navigating life and career in a rapidly changing environment. The discussion will take place in-person at Laurier’s John Aird Centre (room A221) and virtually.
On Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m., Shad and fellow Laurier alumnus and 2X Juno Award winner TOBi (BA '15) will share their invaluable experiences in the music industry and the intricacies of navigating Canada’s hip hop scene. This event, titled "Rap Careers from Canada," promises to be an enlightening session for anyone looking to make their mark in the world of hip hop. It will take place in Laurier’s Theatre Auditorium.
On Wednesday, Sept. 27 Shad will host a special showcase event, "I Just Can't Not Be Free," featuring emerging hip hop talents from local universities and high schools in the Waterloo Region. The showcase will run from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at the Theatre Auditorium.
Laurier graduate students will have a unique opportunity to engage with Shad in a conversation about the history, politics, and potential of hip hop in Canada on Wednesday evening. This event promises an insightful exploration of the genre's global significance.
Shad will lead a talk on hip hop and live instrumentation in collaboration with Laurier’s Jazz Orchestra on Thursday, Sept. 28, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The session, "Explorations in Hip Hop and Live Instrumentation," is open to Laurier Faculty of Music students.
The residency concludes on Friday, Sept. 29 with a thought-provoking talk by Shad on "The Art of Vulnerability for Creatives." Taking place from 11 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. in Laurier’s John Aird Centre, room A431, this session is a must-attend for artists, creatives, public speakers, and anyone seeking to amplify their impact on stage or off.
All events are generously supported by the WLU Alumni Association, the Graduate Enhancement Fund, and the Department of Communication and Cultural Studies.
Tickets for these events can be reserved at the the Shad: Artist in Residence Event Brite page.