more from
Secret City Records
We've updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.


by Shad

supported by
Paul Bunyan
Paul Bunyan thumbnail
Paul Bunyan TAO- the preservation of the way. Shad speaks volumes in such a limited quantity. Warning and admonishing us as human beings not to conform to the grand scale plan woven in the fabric of our lives. Whether we're just browsing the internet or playing games on our apps. the abolition of us is front and center. This album is a signal flare to awake us and keep us from throwing away what's precious due to the trends. I can dig it. Lyrically, he's as sharp as ever. Getting better with age. Favorite track: Black Averageness.
dcaseyjones thumbnail
dcaseyjones those lyrics man, you nailed how I feel. Black Excellence.
ghostrunner5 thumbnail
ghostrunner5 It's Shad and he always delivers. Great Album. Favorite track: Body (No Reason).
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $9.99 CAD  or more


-- Lyrics -- Canada Heat - Getting hotter than a Panama Beach - In a Canada Goose - speaking of Canada Beast Who’s speaking Canada’s truth? Who’s standin for peace? Live from the home of the slaves and the land that was thiefed Lot of broken and lost souls on this planet of freaks Supply and demand's the only commandment we preach Each man is a brand, each night’s famine or feast So we quote “I sell therefore I am” in these streets The ppl is sick and nothing that a needle will fix We need presence (presents), we just get receipts for the gifts Playing God —We just got a cease and desist When our own souls wish that we would cease to exist We out of touch now ____ Too out of touch now In the 6 like touchdown I was tripping I just touched down We out of touch now My how we’ve come a long way But it seems we’re headed in the wrong way Hope we finally turn it around one day Before It’s too late ____ Just touched ground now How do we re-attach the roots? I don’t mean no metaphor - I’m talking ‘bout these packaged foods Mass-produced Who’s the most impacted group? Guess — we the Black and blue Really it’s a question that connected to the facts and truth land and plants and passionfruits We got crashing moods, diseases, and other attributes lack of direction from having no grasp of the past or future Attitude is numb, plus we love to escape We love entertainment - especially if its public disgrace! No loving embraces and nothing is sacred These public debates, discussions of late No trust in the place The drugs in the safe, the plug’s in the wall And all that to say The main cause of all of the suffering and hate? ___ We out of touch now Too out of touch now In the 6 like touchdown I was tripping I just touched down We out of touch now My how we’ve come a long way But it seems we’re headed in the wrong way Hope we finally turn it around one day Before It’s too late And that’s the way that it goes Oh Lord, I don’t know if I can take anymore Got my hands in the air and my knees to the floor Wanna reach out and touch something deep in my soul (X2) We out of touch now Too out of touch now In the 6 like touchdown I was tripping I just touched down We out of touch now My how we’ve come a long way But it seems we’re headed in the wrong way Hope we finally turn it around one day Before It’s too late ___
GOD 02:46
-- Lyrics -- I think a human being is meant to be relational To “mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice” so to speak To break up fights between children or adults To assist the most vulnerable To rescue anyone in danger To have empathy (GOD) Unafraid in the age Of the underpaid Of the Hunger games Funny calling this a game — I didn’t wanna play (GOD) No choice No voice Just me and my old boys Clung to faith Held one humble Page of Tolstoy — Like (GOD) Read it til It shredded meditated on the ethics everyday I’d pray til I get it Re-dedicated to the Message every day (GOD) The weak ones seek the power That the powerful seek to keep Only those that bon’t believe in power Have the power that can lead to peace (GOD) —— Truthfulness Patience Commitment And these values show the true human being (GOD) Ritual in the school of wisdom And the disciplines of communal living From the lynchings back to the crucifixion That aint superstition that’s the true condition of the human soul: group division So we sit together That’s how we remember And pursue the mission See him in my enemy: Don’t lose the vision This aint new religion This is old as time Rules and systems Like students listening Learning tune and rhythm, groove and pitch Not to reproduce But so they can create all the music in them That’s how youth bloom And assume positions in the institutions using intuition How we stay rooted and lose inhibition And the vain ambition This is a benediction (GOD) And just a little lesson from your very own culture That maybe be foreign So in kinyrwanda a human being is “umuntu” And when all those other qualities I’ve mentioned --Assisting the vulnerable Bein empathetic Rescuing anyone in danger— When all those things are in a human being, in umuntu, we say “Afite” or they have “umuntu” in other words without all those qualities We definitely cease to be human beings Ok God bless you Thank you so much You’ve always been a joy to us Keep up the good job Keep loving And we hope to see you soon Be blessed Love you Love you
-- Lyrics -- Work (X4) Looking for a job Looking for a job man They say that even Steve Jobs can’t Find a machine that I could be a cog in This is a problem I’m trying to leave it in God’s hands God’s plan But even God’s fam Was literally out on a limb like God damn! Looking for a job man Looking for a job man I heard theres too much supply It’s like a log jam Be your own boss then Make your own lane And don’t make an off-ramp Or your gig goes offshore As sure as that off-brand cough syrup Put em in coffins Like “peace” No peace Maybe I’ll sleep when I’m deceased Maybe it’ll cease when I’m asleep Maybe I should keep what I can keep Talk is cheap I should know— Given I rap for what I eat Everyone knows I could eat they food But I need Insurance for my teeth I need versatile Personal Income streams That’s purposeful Suckers work for money You should make your money work for you I can’t get no work though Guess that means That I got some work to do The poor can’t afford to look poor So I gotta make sure the shoes and shirt is new Cuz I’m looking for a job looking for a job man They say that even Steve Jobs can’t find a machine that I could be a cog in This is a problem Everybody knows and nobody is solving Somebody told me Stop in the shop And talk to the boss Just on off-chance Looking for a job man Looking for a job man I will do anything I’ll get it popping I need a hot dance Popcaan I need a pop jam I need some Robyn Dont need no off-hand comments I need some rest on some soft sand Peace Im not a man I am a work horse I am a part of the work force Im just not sure of the purpose or person I work for… Maybe this voice inside that keeps telling me work more Hurt more Perform give up my wife and my first-born Wait I’m not a man Not til I manage my estate I am the output I create After the info I intake What If I’m fake? What If I break? What if my model’s obsolete And gets tossed in a heap And gets washed with the sheets Wanna walk on the beach And take off for a week But I’m job seeking Looking for a job Looking for a job man They say that even Steve Jobs can’t Find a machine that I could be a cog in This is a problem I’m trying to leave it in God’s hands God’s plan But even God’s fam Was literally out on a limb like God damn! Looking for a job man Looking for a job man
TAO Pt 1 01:26
-- Lyrics -- (Get in touch) —In other words I’m from Mother Earth but Im otherwordly Every other word is murder If Mr Wonder heard me He’d say he’s the new Miles A younger Bird Another Herbie My mother’s Mavis Pops is Pops And my drummer’s Purdie That’s lineage My blood is dirty That’s word to my brother Like that brother Curry Of the jersey with number 30 You up in church when I utter verses Of love and mercy The ushers worship and start twerking With the other clergy I’m battled tested But was never that aggressive Even as an adolescent I would rather have a message But man alive The whole game’s been sanitized Damn what we done to the young Is like infanticide infantilized the dumbed-down get amplified Via algorithms that’s anything but randomized I cant abide While these lies keep confusing things They use ephemisms to lose the meaning of human beings We know we’re old souls They call us new machines What they call enhanced reality’s a lucid dream Literally remove the screen And you’ll see thru the schemes The stupid memes we consume Keep us too serene I love to laugh too but It’s too much What we lose In our addiction to these cool new drugs We relax then detach then we straight lose touch With everything and thats when at the last we lose us
-- Lyrics -- Slot machines Slot machines Slot machines Slot machines From pop machines To pocket screens We drive thru And walk between (Give me some cash to put away I’m trying to make me some today I hope my pockets handle debt I’m gonna spend all that I have) Slot machines Slot machines Slot machines Slot machines Casino scene These slot machines We drive thru And walk between them Playing slots when I cop another cocktail Then open hotmail Ten percent off sale! So I go to that shop Hoping thats the jack pot Got matching Hat, socks and Black watch But that slot failed Need to keep trying So I say let me buy This delicious deep fried cheese Covered meat pie (Crash) Need a sweet lime tea Then I treat myself To a free live girl In some knee highs Then check my texts And my tweets for a reply Refresh refresh refresh Deep sigh Swear one of these times Keep playing slots like Let me try tmmr Promise this was just a off-night! Maybe this chick This drip This click it’s funny how we broke and they selling us a quick fix Selling us addictions And sickness The business of to Sugar, fat, likes And alike It’s no different than Slot machines Slot machines Slot machines Slot machines From pop machines To pocket screens We drive thru And walk between (Give me some cash to put away I’m trying to make me some today I hope my pockets handle debt I’m gonna spend all that I have) Slot machines Slot machines Slot machines Slot machines Casino scene These slot machines We drive thru And walk between them (Quick Money) In the city of the quick cash spend And the quick cash lend When the quick cash ends In a big crash Dizzy from quick fast spins And the whiplash like hitting a big black Benz My friends in hard times Like this mademoiselle That always thought she’d own a boat Now she’s having a sale Couldn’t afford a laptop Named her daughter Adele/A Dell And it hurts ‘cause her favourite singer Patti Labelle Shorty dropped out of college around the College Dropout I co-op interned when she copped out Started popping when her first kid popped out Rock bottom til she heard this and rocked out Cuz they taught us to compete And not cooperate And said your body’s not complete until you operate They want us all to want when what we got is great And God is great that money talks but doesn’t got a lot to say Just some slots to play
Slow 02:43
-- Lyrics -- (Slow… We’re gonna slow this one right down) Slow Take it Slow Slow Take it slow (X2) Life so stressful Feeling downcast Tears behind the clown mask Many wrestle with the brown bag Need smthg retro for the soundtrack On a vacay Chose to go to Montenegro Cuz it sound black Where the lounge at? Can a man find peace? Miss my childhood —- Life was like in Stand By Me Now I’m sitting with some damp eyes Listening to Landslide Thinking bout time And other things money can’t buy Free… Deleted damn IG Everyone frontin like bosses Franchisees With some fine wines And a plate of pan-fried meats and fries Man, that’s always been the anti-me I’m not anti-screen But what a seems a sight for sore-eyes Is just an eye-sore I’m sorry, we cyborgs One-eyed Short-slighted Borderline blind Bored Overtime minds warped Ugh, kids like ‘he nice But he sound like a old person’ All this soul-searching And no twerking Now see me Getting low working the pole til my bones hurtin Magic City The nursing home version Slow Take it Slow Slow Take it slow (X2) Slow… but watch that horsepower go, man I could watch a 4 hour show Flow’s pure flour! No wonder bread He making more sourdough Than those poor cowards Bow your head and pour a little Coors out For the many thats gone due to copying trends I’m on the Baltic Sea Rocking with some Latvian friends That call me Kobe Cuz I ball and I’m awfully intense… (Kinda racist but) Not being sensitive about it It’s cool, gotta think of things in context I been a idol back before the singing contest show I win at freestyles And the king of concepts - both Own so many boats I might begin a conquest - nope! Never cared about material wealth It’s like wool — Only care if my material’s “felt” And my spiritual health All my ppl sayin ahhh there he go With his lyrical self Slow
-- Lyrics -- (Get in Touch) How come he kilt it for no reason? How come its always like cold season? He just so sick He got 2 degrees— how come his flow is below freezing? How come the lyrics approach genius Still though he had to approach Saying yall making dough off my lyrics But won’t pay the broke genius that wrote em? Parasites How come you dont pay to clear the rights? Or at least get the lyrics right You’re a lyric site — I said have me unverified They said how come? How can you not see the outcome? Of a track record You can’t outrun All of these vultures Thinking they’re fly ‘Cause the cloud’s Where they get their clout from? How come? No reason How come? No reason How come? Ppl keep telling me Preach bro Low key been the ethos Never needed all the ego Never cheated That’s my cheat code How come he still such beast tho? How come the sum doesn’t equal: I mean theres only one of him And there’s 3 of them Still this goes like the Migos Whoa, wait wanna be great? Gimme a break You don’t put work in like gimme a break! How come I don’t make mistakes? I just dont make mistakes How come they fake? Speaking of real/reel… How come I did this on analog? I just killed em all now they got it on tape That’s a mistake How come? No reason How come? No reason How come? I dunno Dont ask me I ask the questions I’m passing the tests They’re passive aggressive I’m past being best My passion’s obsessive They’re asking me How come? I dunno Dont ask me I ask the questions I always ask God Why I have the blessings He told me that I have to bless them No flexin But I’m Mozart meets Omar See me on Netflix with Ozark I’m Rondo Yeah the old guard Rookies sit down Still they don’t start with me Gold bars Gimme some credit No gold cards How come they Calling me Joe Carter Cuz so far Who’s hitting The dome harder? Bro I dunno
-- Lyrics -- I can’t stand the storm (X16) Hurricane in head Whirlpool in my heart Earthquake shakes my head Richter scale’s off the chart When Goddamn Job out that swirling whirling wind Dude could only sob How they helll have I sinned? Oh Lord have mercy on me I can't stand and my knees are so weak I've been going for days and weeks I just can'thandle no more on me My shoulders are heavy I can't stand the levy It's all coming down on me I need time to breathe I need time to see Where my life is really heading Cuz I can't stand the storm... My brain’s crinkled bad The rain is drumming down Wind blasts like a trumpet Tempest is coming down Drumstick hard Raindrops hit The heat wave freezes me My blood ooze out sleazy Self-evidently greasy I can’t stand the storm (X16) On strange terrain prayin’ for a world thats more tame Their sources saying all are from Abel or Cain To say its ordained Take in cold blood And take the lord’s name In veins that course The same blue As Pure flames Poor skin marked with shame and war paint And made to endure pain Made to pour blood out til the core’s drained Now we spillin mud out drains that stored rain Dark clouds form and the proud ignore claims The crowds ignore warnings We hate to force change See I’m abroad planes rides to foreign places Drives to tour states and eating off forks on Plates thats gourmet Makes me connect The methane to the strain That ate up Bourdain same Hurricane on Houston shores Whitney Prince and Cobain Less is more sane More names swallowed by mine and your waves The long lost always the cost of short gain Long loss always the cost of short gain Long loss always the cost of short gain Dancing in the rain Dancing in the rain Too hot for me to chill The Sahara’s a sirocco Make a pillow a low pill Rock N Roll gone rococo Where can I find shelter? I can’t stand the storm (X16) The sky is full of drones Aiming for me like I’m ISIS Bad luck everywhere in the ozone You know I’m in a crisis The Arctic can’t be tropic Not if you’re in love Never is the weather just a topic What’s below is what’s above Who’s below is who’s above I can’t stand the storm (X16) Ain’t no tempest in a teapot My troubles are steeped deep, deep My tears cascade lava hot I die when I drop asleep I just die when I drop asleep
TAO Pt 2 02:56
-- Lyrics -- (We are always conquering nature “Human nature” will be the last part of nature To surrender to man The battle will indeed be won but who, precisely, will have won it? For the power of man to make himself what he pleases means, as we have seen, the power of some men to make other men what they please) We living in a brave new world Full of strange new cravings A little less dope And a lot more vaping STI’s and other viral sensations Just ‘cause it’s new That don’t make it innovation I had to switch up the vista Flickr to Insta Flipped thru some pictures Man I clicked thru some sisters Seen a Tegan and a Sara Sabrina and a Lara A Venus and Serena And a Tia and Tamera Im still looking for smthg Im not seeing in the mirror Will a million pictures Really help me see it any clearer tho? Are we looking for a miracle Or merely pheromones Or just not being alone Growing weary? Was talking all this theory With a woman named Siri I nearly fell in love So I had to pull the plug Seems kinda like we’re drug fiends When what we stream Hits the blood stream Touching us deep Beneath the touch screens (The main objection is that if man chooses to treat himself as raw material Raw material he will be We’ve been trying to have it both ways It is impossible Either we are rational spirit Obliged forever to obey the absolute values of “the tao” Or else we are mere nature To me kneaded and cut into new shapes For the pleasures of masters) We’ve been trapped in this fast-paced rat race And now they turned the race track into ad space Tracked, traced when I open up a map: waze Or any chat-based app In the last days Where have all the poets gone? Well can’t hold our focus long enough with these emoticons and Pokemon gos Trying to go beyond those You gotta be, like, borderline Obi wan! Bro, on my damn applications Brand activations Got it all now Only don’t have the patience I’m not saying let’s make a shift back to basics But aint no spaceships got’ take us out this matrix What we face is bonafide global-wide changes Old ways is gone cool but what are they replaced with? Business as usual? Business is brutal And it’s so big now That all resistance is futile Let that dream die quick And take a uber to the funeral You could Facebook it live and find the grave on google Refusal to comply can result in your removal From a future they devise ‘Cause they decide who’s useful (It is not that they are bad men They are not men at all Stepping outside the tao They have stepped into the void Nor are their subjects necessarily unhappy men They are not men at all They are artifacts Man’s final conquest has proved to be The abolition of man)
-- Lyrics -- (So you’ve heard of Black Excellence I love Black Excellence Unfortunately this is not that This is something different Check it out) I’m one of a billion Paying the bills, man Bills fan Live in a building My only drama’s all my children/All My Children I’m chilling We ayyyt Not broke not rich Only chalet that we going to is “Swiss” I relate to a Fred Van vleet: Im like swish, or I miss Bish, you basic! Well it is what it is Look I say that I’m busy Not that busy though I’m not Diddy Look at the video Wifey works for the city Pension’s litty Y’all should retire I do admire Those who aspire But I don’t really Not trying to be flyer— Canadian Tire Life for us is already often catastrophic So shout out all my Africans Who learn to data process To fatten up the pockets Deal with racist bosses Stanley at The Office Turn it off and watch this If you fall — Ok Only ball ok I just want you to know That that’s all ok If you just rap ok Only trap ok And you sing ok Like Karaoke say… Oh! (X2) I’m a bizarre person I look regular like a Levar Burton more into the Star Trek than the Star Search I'm hard workin Shad is savage Not a caddy I'm just Black with baggage Daddy with a daughter I'd be happy if she match the average People want to be bad but I won't People want me to like jazz but I don't wish I did too many notes Can I live? At my crib? We just folks I'm a man, why I wanna be a GOAT? I just wanna see us cope we either stars or we broke Like you either make em laugh or youre a joke I'm like nope I have every right to be like a B or C with a durag on while i ski they dont get it melanin paramedics dentists, dental hygenists or deliverin for UPS or Fed EX Pops said it If you fall — Ok Only ball ok I just want you to know That that’s all ok If you just rap ok Only trap ok And you sing ok Like Karaoke say… Oh! (X2)
Garçon 01:12
-- Lyrics -- (Ya Boy, Get in touch, TAO, Feel Good) Lately I’ve been a great mood Like listening hey Jude On queludes in late June With Jesus mad ladies And only like 8 dudes I fix pain and I break rules I make loot and I pay dues I eat legumes and grapefruits Took a break and then I came thru like You dont really hear the boy stop Put his gifts back in the toy box Everything I kick’s muay thai All my drip’s soya sauce Heads flip like he did a coin toss Young Shade! Demonstrated the dedication required To move thru the fire Distribute the flyers In the cold Where they aint no tissue for crying And the issues is dire He’s spit thru the wire Bit thru brick Chipped tooth True grit Desire This is Handel’s Messiah By a one-man choir Ya boy Garcon (Ya feel good? The Abolition Of us)
TAO Pt 3 05:55
-- Lyrics -- Thanks for listening to these cyanide diatribes In this strange zoo Where the snakes Become lionized Then we can’t Identify the pride When it’s giant-sized Bright orange And not even trying to hide Trying times Tyrants flying by Tech is one big private eye I just want some heat Why’s my thermostat’s trying to spy? Legalized weed but the water’s more privatized Damn… they leavin us literally high and dry I’m a quiet guy But the pattern is clear From today’s data extraction Back to them dragging us here - First man was extracted from the land To clear the way for extractin from the planet Now extraction’s just expanded since They dug up most of the gold and the granite Now they digging in our souls and their goal is extractin our humanity - All while distracting from the plan Using literal codes the ppl can’t And aren’t allowed to understand Just a handful of companies Tracking our every movement We becoming less human And they call it an improvement But this aint nothin new its the Just same despotic sick logic That saw all black bodies As just objects Now it’s magnified ‘cause we artists all pacified We supposed to lead Supposed to be the masterminds The catalysts The capitalists have us tied Now we satirize The same things we advertise.. Yes it’s as depressing as it sounds! Even countin all the blessings Doesn’t lessen the amount It’s a lot - So I’m down for ppl stretching the accounts To get counselling sessions Or yoga stretches to the ground or taking treks into the mountains quick exits from a town full of stresses If it gets us to the lessons of the Tao Check it out — Like Catholics and baptists That truly practice Love for all those still on the road to Damascus Free meals and masses Life at long last Said love’s only in blood And it cant be kept in caskets Look we really need to believe And keep gathering To keep battling And keep on the path we travellin’ It’s hard home used to be where the heart is Now its just another market And everything is a bargain And everyone is a target Every month the apartment Rentals jump in charges Food — I always had But I never once Could harvest So I’m still starved in part From eating garbage Fake carbs in cartons Aye, more ppl just need a job Few ppl can keep the laws More ppl perceive a problem Few ppl can see the cause Few ppl with real family More ppl just tweetin “Squad” More ppl leavin their bodies Their deepest peace has been robbed We seek relief in the products And keep receipts Cuz when we need to eat That’s when ppl cheat Greed, deceit And other evils seen and treated as legal means No guillotines And that’s the elitists’ dream No revolution Just so accustomed to corruption That we shrug it off Unsurprised anytime that we uncover fraud… Then Its subtle how it ramps up From the shadows to a travel ban Like all of Pakistan plus Anybody named Khalid’s in the Taliban — what?! You can almost laugh Til an Alexandre Bisonnete in Quebec City Gets a kalishnakov and walks in a mosque… Now fear is the climate The mood’s violent Truth silenced Since they made the news biased By saying stations should be free to spew lies and Not have to broadcast peer-reviewed science And free to sell anything long as you’ll buy it We give less youth guidance And make more schools private Here In the land where the richest dwell Sickest wealth Heaven But we sick as hell Sickest health Emotional Sickle Cell’s Now the new normal So as far as who is and Who isn’t well Well everyone’s too sick to tell - Let’s lift the veil Let’s break the witches spell Spell it out on a different wheel of fortune: I’m saying’ it’s just a “L”! Don’t be afraid take a risk and fail Or else sit in jails Too many minds in prison cells bell hooks on my book case Kristen Bell: I’m in a good place With what’s written amidst the shelves Inspired speech I’m just trying to applying the teachings I’ve acquired reading tales of liars, cheats, and admired leaders The irony is Being down in the mire, deep Might actually help us reach the higher peaks Even while it all feels Entirely Tire screech—Dire Bleak as a secret diary By The Wire’s Police or Fire Chief I’m still believing More than ever in forever In together In a better world V for vendetta girl In that cell with the letter I remember the rush Of seeing We as a body And remembering us From parts dismembered To peace when we re-enter in touch When we Re-member Re-assemble Re-centre in trust - Thats whats up! Low fashion, Canadian style But I was blessed with radiant smile So come and stay for a while Pray for the child With the soul in his sound to stay devout until that hole in the ground Im no more holy than thou Just want us to be whole And holding it down No controlling the future But we could take hold of the now If we dont throw in towel Shoulder to shoulder in crowds Let’s decide Before we bow Close the show And be out TAO (from parts to dismembered to peace Remember this Body Parts to dismembered to peace Re-member Re-member Reassemble As a body Re-enter in touch)


The word “TAO” in Chinese means “The Way.” As in the way of living that conforms to the truths of the moral universe, nature, etc. TAO is also an acronym for The Abolition Of, the book by CS Lewis, which is what we risk (the abolition of man/ourselves) if we lose fully touch with these aspects of our humanity.

Each song on the album is about a different part (or parts) of our humanity/humanness we’ve slowly been losing touch with.


released October 1, 2021

Recorded by Crispin Day at The Cabin in Toronto. Additional recording by David Plowman on "Black Averageness" and "TAO Pt 2" and by Matthew Johnston on "Slow" and "Out of Touch".

Mixed and Mastered by Dan Weston at The Cabin in Toronto

2021 Shad under exclusive license to Secret City Records Inc.


all rights reserved



Shad Toronto, Ontario

Shad is a Juno Award-winning rapper from London, Ontario and the host of Netflix’s Hip-Hop Evolution. His albums have been recognized for their sharp lyrics and soulful arrangements.

contact / help

Contact Shad

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this album or account

If you like Shad, you may also like: