In October of last year, Creative Loafing wrapped up a profile on Rapper Shane with a quote regarding how the hard-working local rapper felt about the amount he was getting back for all his efforts: "I'm too busy to be this broke."
What he didn't say was that at the time he was sitting on five beats from renowned producer Ducko McFli (co-producer on Drake's "Draft Day") and couldn't afford the studio time to record over them, despite working multiple jobs, co-founding a promotion group called Know Good Entertainment and rapping.
"That wasn't to say I'm broke. I'm super blessed," Shane says now. "There's people way worse off in life. But I just do a lot of shit. As much effort as I put into this I hope there's a monetary gain somewhere along the line. That's not why I do it, but when you get to a certain age and you have to pay bills and you put a lot of work in, you feel that way."
The hard work paid off and when Shane finally got in the studio, he let loose on the five bass-heavy beats from McFli. The resulting EP, titled Too Busy To Be This Broke, plays like the perfect, short summer soundtrack for those looking to bump something loud on Charlotte's streets.
The psychedelic but subtle beat on "Reachin'" seems straight out of a classic UGK or Ghetto Boys song you might hear on any given Player Made event at Snug harbor that Shane co-DJs. It plays well with his newly tweaked style, a bit calmed down from the sped-up style he's displayed on earlier tracks.
"This EP and moving forward I'm trying to get better rapping by taking out words and making it more deliberate," he says. "It might give it a more Southern sound — or at least give it more room to have the Southern drawl in it — with the beats, instead of being crazy and trying to get all over them."
Shane's also stayed steady with his lyricism and wordplay, which has always been a strength of his.
On "Do It," he raps "I keep it moving through I-85/ She got them Jacki O glasses, keep the sun out her eyes/ And we cruising no top down this time/ 'Cause we know how that story ends and I'm still alive/ They shooting, made you look at your life/ Let's take a trip to the moon, I'm tryin' to tie-dye the sky."
There's plenty of feel-good summer chill in that clip, but with a whole lot more going on if you take a deeper look. The EP is short, but there's plenty to go back over in multiple listens. It's also easy just to turn the bass up, turn the windows down and let Ducko McFli be the breeze on a humid day.
Shane's first solo release is the follow-up to last year's Dap City collaboration with RBTS WIN, and the lead-up to a new album and another collaboration; Deep Six Division with Shane and Mike Astrea of Astrea Corp.
The new project proves yet again that for Rapper Shane, both musically and professionally, there's no such thing as doing too much.
"It's something new to brand. It's got a different tone to it, so if I do Rapper Shane shit, it will be more along the lines of the EP; feel good shit, tongue in cheek rap shit," he says. "Deep Six is a little deeper. It has a certain type of sound to it. It has a certain heavy synth bass sound. It makes me want to punch somebody. It's just aggressive shit, which I think is the style of music that I like the most."
The Deep Six Division album will be released this fall, so enjoy the positivity now while the weather is nice.