Name: Shad Ali
From: Wilkinsburg, PA
Projects Released: The Appetizer’s EP
Influences: Nas, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, MF Doom, Cormega
What prompted your start for your career path?
My freshman year of college in 2005 is when I really got into rapping on tracks. My homie Shaun had recording equipment in his apartment. It was really convenient because he lived right down the hall from me. We used to skip class messing around with beats, writing flows, and recording.
Who first recognized your talents and what it meant to you?
My older cousin Tahir Jahi. He has a fearless style of music that I admired. He always was willing to listen to whatever music I was working on, and he holds no punches when providing his opinion on the stuff that I make. Not sure if he knows it, but he’s played a great role in my development as an artist.
First problem you have come across?
Song structure and arrangement. When I started writing rhymes, it was more for me, and chasing away the stress that I was dealing with. Capturing thoughts in a potent form that would appeal to a listener is a difficulty that I’m working through currently. That I didn’t know how to count bars either, ha.
As an up and coming artist what was it that you seen that you needed to improve on?
Consistency in releases, my cadence, and my business mind. I’m so critical when it comes to the stuff I do, that it helps and hinders me. Which is weird I know, but I’ll get through it.
How will you make an impact given a chance?
Sharing relatable experiences is a good way to help others in their times of distress or hardship. Through making music, I was able to find the courage to be the person I am today. You’d be surprised how many folks are scared to be themselves these days. I want to spread my love for life, share some happiness, and free some minds with the truth.
Why should people take notice in your work?
I just want to be able to give back. The world is such an unfair place, especially when you got some melanin in your skin. I’d like to change that if possible. Hip Hop in a way is teaching, and I’d like for people to learn from me.