You can slouch on the futon instead

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I very rarely listen to hip-hop, which explains how I managed to go almost two years before hearing The Old Prince, the Polaris-nominated album by London, Ontario-based rapper Shad. But now that I have, I’ve become completely addicted to the single “The Old Prince Still Lives at Home.”

The song could scarcely be more different from the materialistic excess and hyper-masculine bravado of most mainstream rap. As the title suggests, it’s about living with your parents, and gives Shad the opportunity to offers plenty of money-saving tips: “Why’s a brother need a dentist? It’s expensive!” It’s laugh-out-loud hilarious, and pretty much every word is instantly quotable. It’s even kind of sweet, with Shad’s boasts about penny pinching tempered by self-deprecation: “Like students do, ‘cept I’m grown and it’s not dorms, so it’s a bit more pathetic—okay, a lot more.” The song finishes with an a cappella verse, after Shad claims that the royalties made the beat too expensive to use for the entire song.

The beat—before it’s cut off—is upbeat and funky, accented with keyboard blips and sampled horns. It sounds a bit like mainstream ’80s rap, evoking the feel good grooves of DJ Jazzy Jeff, so it’s only appropriate that the video is a recreation of the classic opening to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Shad plays the role of Will Smith, getting tossed around the basketball court and yelled at by his mom. It manages to be funny without needing to change much—they have some fun with the credits at the bottom of the screen, but it’s mostly a pretty faithful recreation.

Watch the video here.

The Old Prince was released in 2007 via Black Box Recordings.
 
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