Mr Shaodow (pronounced Sha-ow-dough) from the group Elementz Bound is a London rapper who is now studying Business and Law in Oxford. He decided to form the cryptic name Shaodow by combining two elements that he knew would be his constant companions throughout life, his love for Kung Fu and his silhouette.
Says Shaodow, “I aim to create a new vibe for the music scene, one that involves bringing knowledge to the streets, telling stories that people can relate to and hard-hitting messages that make you think. I won’t follow the obvious rap standards that lean heavily on disparaging women, gun culture and guns”.
Mr Shaodow, real name Eliot Haslam, has been rapping since 2006. Although still a newcomer to the Hip Hop scene, he has already demonstrated that he is a professional performer and an industrious and motivated operator. He has written and created his first music video; designed, produced and sold his CDs; launched his own personal clothing line, travelled to China to study Kung Fu and helped establish regular Hip Hop events in the Oxford area – all while studying for his degree.
Here he has delivered his four track demo CD on his Elements Bound imprint and I believe it is all self produced as well. So with such idealistic aspirations has Shaodow accomplished what he set out to achieve?
The first track on the CD is Look Out There Is A Blackman Coming a deep grimey thumper. Mid-paced, a gruff bassline and peppered with strings, Shaodow has a clear and concise delivery as he drops his insightful lyrics. It a satirical, hard-hitting and witty piece about racism, challenging the stereotypes often associated with young black males. The main though being that people shoun’t be scared of Black people when they see them on the street as this is just ignorance.
Quick There’s One Coming (Offkey Mix) is a remix of the first track which has a darker feel and a touch of a more dancey feel with the more prevalent keyboard chords. At the beginning of the second verse Shaodow demonstrates a killer flow which really shows that this MC has talent.
Back 2 Da Drawing Board again has modern sounding production by Spectral and the faster tempo sees Shaodow spit in a manner that should leave many breathless. Spoken in the first person this is a cautionary tale about what happens when a young man takes the wrong path falling into drug dealing and drug taking.
The CD is rounded off with the instrumental of There Is A Blackman Coming which contains the intro, a couple of bars of the first verse and some of the chorus lyrics, but the production is good enough and detailed enough to stand up on its own. Overall this is a very impressive offering from an MC that has a great deal of potential, and is definitely someone that I want to hear more from.