A few tracks into Shad's Polaris Music Prize-nominated album The Old Prince makes it clear Common is a massive influence. From the soul samples and jazz interludes to introspective spoken-word intros and lyrics that tackle everyday issues with perspective and humour, the disc recalls early Common albums such as Resurrection.

"Common is my biggest influence -- he was the one guy that I liked best, because he's the best," said Shad. "He's always at the next level --with the lyrics, the way he says things -- on all levels. From his level of depth of insight and honesty to his straight lyrical skill." [Metro]

@ Pianos in NYC, full club, Thursday, October 23, 2008, FREE. The lineup is:

time (PM), band, stage
12:00 Pretty & Nice (downstairs)
12:15 Twi the Humble Feather (upstairs)
12:45 Eagle Seagull (downstairs)
01:00 James Jackson Toth (upstairs)
01:30 The Muslims (downstairs)
01:45 Shad (upstairs)
02:15 Japanese Motors (downstairs)
02:30 Peasant (upstairs)
03:00 Friendly Fires (downstairs)
03:15 Sharon Van Etten (upstairs)
03:45 Crystal Antlers (downstairs)
04:00 Pwrfl POWER (upstairs)
04:30 Sebastien Grainger (downstairs)
04:45 Wye Oak (upstairs)
05:30 Phosphorescent (upstairs)

Shad played his official CMJ showcase at Arlene's Grocery on Wednesday night. Thursday is the Canadian's only other NYC show. Check out a video below...

** Video Premiere ** // A throwback to the days of Skee-Lo and Positive K, this song from The Old Prince LP gets a hilarious video based on the classic DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince clip and Will Smith's TV show.

Check our guide to Hip Hop at CMJ 2008

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