Published Aug 16, 2011Syrupy soul samples abound in the aptly titled Waiting Room. Talented Toronto, ON MC/producer Shaun Boothe has been teasing fans with this mixtape for a minute, in-between touring, touting his "Hip-Hop in 3D" credo and producing his popular "Unauthorized Biography" web series on famous black celebrities/icons. The Lykke Li sample for well-received single "Let Me Go" grabs the casual ear, while harder heads will hang around for "1, 2, 3" (featuring STS) and the "Bohemian Rhapsody"-driven "Poor Boy" (remix) featuring Kardinal Offishall. The former MuchMusic Temp thrives on the concept track, and introspective numbers like "Phone Sex" (by way of a Bobby Glenn soul sample), "Concepts" (featuring a more subdued than usual Talib Kweli) and the surprisingly frank "Headline" (which deals with being the opening Canadian act to a bigger American name while on tour) officially lock down Boothe's penchant for above-average lyrics on top of above-average production (by Boothe and producer cousin Nineteen85). Boothe's sort of been an enigma in Canadian hip-hop: a well-respected MC who's had next for what seems like an inordinate amount of time. As the old saying goes, as a full-length effort, the ironically titled Waiting Room may be late but Boothe is right on time with a package that speaks to both grind and gloss.
How does it feel to finally have the full-length out?
It feels great. The response has been incredible. I called it Waiting Room because I've been waiting so long to get this stuff out. Needless to say, I feel like there's been a huge weight off my shoulders. As an artist, being able to share music is why we do it. To put something out, you get the energy back and it keeps you going.
What type of vibe did you want to create for this album?
I wanted to create a classic. I'm a fan of soul samples; I didn't want to necessarily go back in time, but I wanted to do it in my own way and create something that's timeless, something that's musical. But most importantly, I wanted to create a cohesive body of work. And I think we really accomplished that. A lot of times you just see artists working with producers of the day and it sounds more like a compilation of songs rather than a body of work that represents someone. I like all types of music and all types of production, but with this, I wanted to give someone something that they can wrap their heads around and understand. And then for the next project, you'll see the progression and where I want to take things. But I don't want to confuse people by throwing anything in there. For the next project, you might hear something completely different. (Independent)