How ShaqIsDope Overcame His Demons on ‘Dark Times Ahead’

Up-and-coming Toronto rapper ShaqIsDope has been steadily producing his sound.

A rappers’ rapper and the consummate hustler, ShaqIsDope has parlayed his time in quarantine into a document that feels pretty much claustrophobic. Dark Days In advance riffs on distrust as interactions go tummy-up, and the streets are viewing for any slip-ups.  

It feels like the weight of the globe is on his shoulders. “Friend or foe, enable me know what you are,” he raps on “Pressure.” ShaqIsDope is aware of that his moves are remaining viewed. 

With the highlight on him, ShaqIsDope is out to demonstrate and prove he warrants his spot amongst the city’s buzziest rappers. He’s been on the radar of songs journalists for some time but is now looking to translate that into far more mainstream acceptance. 

The introspective Toronto MC sat down with Elaborate Canada to reflect on the earlier difficult yr and why his album was about letting go.

The new project is referred to as Dim Days In advance. Obviously there is been a good deal likely on in both your particular daily life, considering the fact that you’re dropping an album, and in the globe, as everyone is dealing with a pandemic. How are you and how are you experience?
I’m basically in a very great headspace proper now. At the commencing of the pandemic points ended up gloomy for me. But I finished up figuring things out and taking my new music in a distinct way, and figuring out new points that I needed to do. As of appropriate now, I’m just remaining pretty constructive and hunting ahead to the New Yr.

To title your album Dim Times Forward, I really feel like you have to have a specific attitude. What was your headspace likely in?
Heading into the project my headspace was really adverse to notify you the real truth. There was just a large amount of factors going on with my own daily life and specific predicaments that I was dealing with like spouse and children points, romantic relationship-intelligent when it came to really like. At the starting of the pandemic, when that whole issue strike also, it slowed down a whole lot of my programs. I was kind of in a seriously dim spot. That type of set the whole [vibe] of the project and the 1st creative system.


“I’m a man or woman that likes to tell the fact in my tunes.”


I hear influences of artists like Drake, Jay-Z, and J-Cole. What is about these specific artists that encourage you?
The point about all those artists that inspire me is the way that they are capable to seriously join with their viewers and get definitely particular in their lyrics. I’m a person that likes to explain to the reality in my new music. I experience like which is the most effective way to link with your fanbase. The way they do that, to me, is outstanding and individuals are artists that I analyze all the time to test and elevate my craft.

What are you at present listening to appropriate now? 
I’ve been listening to a ton of Benny the Butcher, Freddie Gibbs, and I have been listening to a whole lot Uk-rap as very well like Headie-One. Matters of that nature.

All over your audio, there have been themes of spiritual and spiritual perception and you chose to open up your album with that. How do your religious or religious beliefs tell your songs?
They certainly participate in a huge element of my audio. For me, I have a perception in a higher electrical power. I come to feel like this gift for audio that I have, came organic to me—there was no genuine way to clarify it. I definitely felt like this supernatural remaining gave me this gift and capacity to generate audio. So I always consider to put that in my tunes and categorical it to allow my fans know this is what I believe that and this is why I make the songs that I make. 

So listening to the album, I’m listening to an artist who is feeling the body weight of the globe is on their shoulders. There are themes of enjoy, loss, paranoia, and betrayal. I think each male goes as a result of an knowledge of unrequited like at least the moment in their lifetime. But as an artist it hits various. It can have destructive mental wellbeing implications. So communicate to me about the thoughts heading by means of your head even though composing a tune like “No A person Else.” How is your mental wellness and are you getting steps towards self-care?
Unquestionably. Definitely. “No One Else” basically came about [because] I was included with this woman and we talked for like a yr and a half, almost two decades, and she went again to her ex-boyfriend on me 2 times [sic]. The cause why that circumstance strike so really hard for me was since that was the initial I let myself be completely vulnerable with a woman, and I was ready to essentially tumble in adore for the to start with time ever in my existence. At to start with, dealing with that heartbreak, I’ll tell you the truth of the matter, it was very hard on me mentally. Even bodily way too. My entire body just didn’t come to feel appropriate. It just took a entire toll on me when points didn’t operate out. 

Now, quick-ahead down the line, I’m in a way far better psychological place. I took the time to take the self-care and browse a good deal of books on really like and healing. I believe the finest detail I took from that predicament was not keep a grudge. I really feel like when you hold a grudge, you are just never ever going to get earlier specific conditions in your existence. You do not actually get the blessings that you want for you. I assume psychological health, when it will come to heartbreak and losses, is one particular of the biggest things. It can absolutely damage you if you are not hoping to acquire the methods [toward self-care]. It is OK to fall but you just gotta make sure you rise back up to the celebration and just continue to keep shifting.

Is there a person song on the album that seriously speaks to you?
It is a tie concerning “In the Morning” and “M.S.D.F.”

Congrats on the album. Is there nearly anything else you would like to include?
I just want to enable the individuals know I obtained new merch coming true soon. New marketing campaign with another significant brand name. Remain tuned for 2021. I surely bought some bangers ready to go right after this project. Remain tuned.

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