Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Morning Show with DJ John Richards, is “Always Winnin” by Shad & DJ T.LO from a forthcoming EP.
Ontario MC Shad has always had game. The Kenyan-born/Canada-raised artist holds two degrees, including a master’s in liberal studies, and his socially-conscious lyrics have brought him rave reviews and three Polaris Music Prize nominations out of his four full-length releases. But this literate rapper can also display a playful side, like on today’s Song of the Day “Always Winnin,” a collaboration with his longtime touring partner, DJ T.Lo.
Against a sample of Gang Starr’s 1999 single “Full Clip,” Shad drops lines about San Antonio Spurs basketball coach Gregg Popovich, alongside references to the NBC show 30 Rock and a shout-out to Billy Bragg. It’s not the first time Shad (real name: Shadrach Kabango) has rapped about his love of basketball — he’s been known to work in references to Shawn Kemp, Reggie Miller, and even referee Tim Donaghy — but it might be his most funky ode to the game yet.