about love with Shad called “Love Means.” A couple
months later, they were both nominated at the 2011
Juno Awards for Rap Recording of the Year. Shad went
on to win for his album TSOL.
The song sat on a shelf for months until Shad started
to write some lyrics for
another track about love
to a different beat. That’s
when he remembered
the project with Eternia.
“I dug it up in my email
and I ended up playing
the verses side by side.
When I saw the beats
were in the same key and
that they worked together so beautifully…I took that
as a sign and ran with it.” With that, “Love Means” became one of last tracks he decided to include on Flying
Trying to figure out what love means is a heavy feat
for a single song, but this track never gets self-absorbed. Verse three of “Love Means” borrows from the
structure of 1 Corinthians 13, a biblical passage that
explores the many facets of love. In fact, many of the
songs in Flying Colours are speckled with specific references to his faith.
What does Shad say about going to church as a child?
“I liked it,” he reflects. “I don’t know what came first,
my interest in spiritual things or my going to church
and being exposed to these things, but I think I always
appreciated the space to consider life on a deeper
level.” Even today, he continues to grow in his faith
as a member of a church with a beautiful tradition of
literature, scripture, and
ritual. “They’re wonderful
reminders of a way of life
and a path of resistance,”
he explains. I asked him if
he’d recommend a young
person seek out a church
community to grow in
their faith. Shad’s answer
“I would definitely suggest to anyone who sees some-
thing beautiful in the story of Christ and wants to
live that, to do that with other people.” He says other
people are important in this process because it allows
us to appreciate the beauty of the experience. “We’re
meant to see God in each other,” he says. This love for
things eternal has stayed with him throughout his ca-
reer. You can almost hear it in his music. He flows with
a humility that can only come from above.
While his faith has played a major role in shaping Shad’s
identity and work, his family has also been a major influence, but not in any musical sense. “I didn’t really
grow up in a super musical household,” he says. “On
As far as what LOVE means well I can read a
line // From the dictionary, but I think I need
;;;;;;;;;;;// I need to live it to know it //That
means I gotta give it and let it be given back
to grow it // I gotta sow it to get it, like really
get it I gotta show it // Not just talk about it
like a lot of poets // A.K.A. moi.
- Shad, “Love Means”