Kory Neely (born June 30th, 1970), better known as MC Shadow, is a Canadian rapper, actor, music & film producer and author who achieved fame for being on the first Hip Hop record in Canada to be released outside of the country and achieve international sales. His group Get Loose Crew was the first Canadian rap group to produce an independent Hip Hop record and attain global revenues under their self-established Indie label East Park Productions. Neely gained notoriety as the first white Hip Hop artist in Canada and as the second in the world in music history to be recorded on vinyl.

While the American group Beastie Boys had released their rap recording years earlier, Hip hop historians have debated that their origins as a punk music band are different than Shadow. He was originally a hip hop artist and many regard him as the first white hip hop artist. The relevancy of this discussion is simply due to the rarity of white rappers in the history of this established African American genre. He also had a brief solo career after the Get Loose Crew disbanded in 1990, appearing on several CD compilations under the title JUST Me.

In 2015, after a lengthy hiatus he returned to the music scene with several singles and a music video trilogy; edited into a short film format for Festival submission. Several songs from his catalog were scored into episodes and the soundtrack of US Television series Front Men (2017). Neely is actively working in the Film & Television industry as an Executive Producer and appearing in a series listed as in production.

1983 – 1986


Growing up in Toronto, his rhyming skills were discovered in the Flemingdon Park neighborhood on the city’s east side, during impromptu rap battles at Valley Park Junior High.

He developed his fierce lyrical abilities with the support and encouragement of neighborhood friends Richard Niles and Roger Barnes. In 1984 at the age of 14, during many lunch hours in his junior high school cafeteria Shadow’s rhyming skills were put to the test.

Impromptu rap battles would erupt, engaging in heated, highly charged lyrical verbal jousts. He would rattle off rhyming verses in response to insults and jests as fierce up-tempo beats were pounded on tables and windows to the approval of cheering crowds of on looking students.

Later that year, Kory adopted the moniker White Shadow (reference to a 1970’s US television show “The White Shadow”) as he teamed up with neighborhood friends Chris (DJ JEL) Jackson and Len (Mix-Master Len) Grant-Stuart to form the DJ group, Def Force Sound Crew.  Their act was organized to feature White Shadow MC performing in freestyle rap challenges as they played at their school and community center dances. It was at this point in 1984 that Shadow began to write lyrical compositions and structured song arrangements. Jackson assumed the role as the lead producer and the two would collaborate and write songs together. 

Due to the music genre being in its infancy at that time and with little venue opportunities, live performances were limited to dances at his local junior High School (Valley Park Junior High), the Community Recreation Center,  underground parties, and outdoor summer barbecues. (better known as Blocko’s or Block Parties)

In 1986, in an underground basement party reflective of scenes similarly portrayed in the movie (Eminem’s) ‘8 Mile’  Shadow began his path to releasing a record as a music artist. Established local Hip Hop artist, MC Rumble was entertaining a party crowd and inviting challengers to participate in impromptu freestyle rap battles. Encouraged by the crowd, Shadow took the mic and began a freestyle rap battle against Rumble. After an exchange of a couple of impromptu verses, Shadow broke out into a human beat box (human music percussion) and sent the crowd into a frenzied roar, startling his opponent.

“We (Rumble and me) talked outside of the party”. “Everyone was chanting, ‘battle at Concert Hall…rematch’” said Shadow. This was a call from the crowd for the two to participate in a live rap battle on stage at the Toronto Concert Hall (Masonic Temple) which was regarded as the temple for Hip Hop music performances in Canadian rap history.

In the wake of their competition, Rumble offered advice to Neely which ultimately led the course for Shadows Hip Hop legacy. “Battling is just a waste of time. Focus on your music. Take that energy and make a record. If you wanna battle…, do it on vinyl.”

Shadow reflects nostalgically on that time, “Rumble was working on getting signed in Europe and I appreciated his advice.  I credit him for pointing me in that direction; we became brothers at that moment, and I am indebted to him for it.” That guidance defined the pursuit of a recording project that would leave Shadow’s mark on Hip Hop music history in Canada and the world.

1983 – 1986


In late 1986 White Shadow changed his name to ‘MC Shadow’.  He and his friends Chris Jackson (DJ JEL aka Chris Got-Rocks), and Len Grant-Stuart (Mix-Master Len) also changed the groups’ name to the ‘Get Loose Crew’. They began self-producing several demo tapes that were played on the Ryerson University (then Ryerson College) Radio Station CKLN 88.1 – Fantastic Voyage Program, hosted by Hip Hop broadcast pioneer Ron Nelson.

They recorded their first studio demo tape, a song called “Licence to Slice” (written July 26, 1986) and recorded in Aurora, Ontario (August 15, 1986) which received airplay on CKLN.

Soon after, local known rapper Carl Badwa (‘MC B’, aka B Kool aka Don Carlito), joined the group and they eagerly worked toward the production and release of their first music project.

1986 – 1988


1986 - 1988

As an established local underground rap artist MC Shadow continued recording demo tapes with the Get Loose Crew and submitting to major record labels in the hopes of securing a record deal. With only one small Canadian Hip Hop record label (Beat Factory) in existence, the slim prospect of joining that roster coupled with the Industry’s position to not sign artists of the hip hop genre, they opted to form their own, and second independent Hip Hop record label in Toronto and Canada ‘East Park Productions’.

The project being entirely funded by themselves, the group recorded 4 songs for release on a mini-album, EP (extended play) with the plan for a follow up full length LP.

Carl Badwa (‘MC B’ aka B Kool aka Don Carlito) joined the group just prior to the release. To prevent a delay of the album release by re-recording the entire project to date; to include him they dropped an existing song and added a newly recorded single track (Wannabe) to include him on the album.

After several delays with the manufacturing of the album, the record finally hit store shelves in Toronto, in March 1988.

This work confirmed MC Shadow as the first recorded white hip hop artist in Canada and potentially globally, only after American Def Jam Records artists The Beastie Boys release of their first hip hop recording, Cooky Puss in 1984. Debate among historians in the Hip-Hop community suggest that while the American group had released their rap recording years earlier, their origins as a punk music band are different than Shadow. In contrast, his beginnings were that of originally being a hip-hop artist and regarded as the first white hip hop artist. The relevancy of this discussion is simply due to the rarity of white rappers in the history of this established African American genre.

Charting: May 1988, Urban music record chart ‘CHEER’ Backfield in motion, listed the Get Loose Crew song “WANNABE” in 5th spot among industry icons Kool Moe Dee – Wild Wild West at #1, Eric B & Rakim – Move the crowd #2, Boogie Down Productions – My Philosophy in 3rd spot, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five – Magic Carpet Ride # 6 and finally, television & movie star ICE-T & Big Daddy Kane – Colors Soundtrack for the 1988 film (same name) at # 7. The Cheer DJ Pool is a nationally acclaimed organization of disc jockeys which has been in existence for over 20 years. The membership of the pool has dedicated itself to serving not only the musical diversity of the community, but its cultural diversity as well.

CHEER Music Pool served as a Canadian national music chart as supplied by the Cheer DJ Pool of Toronto and was founded by music historian Daniel Calderon. Contributing to the authenticity of the Pool of contributors, members of the Pool have various ethnic backgrounds, including members from South Africa, Portugal, Italy, Asia, Philippines, Angola, to name but a few.

The Cheer Pool membership supported the SHARE FM application for a new urban/dance radio station and based upon its expertise participated in the proceedings February 9, 200 in Toronto.

Media support and interest; aside from appearances on the ‘Fantastic Voyage Program’ and various other College Radio Stations, included a feature interview on CBC’s (Canadian Broadcast Corporation) Television show ‘Switchback’. During the interview with Host Eric Tunney, (Shadow serving as the group’s spokesman) they discussed the emerging music genre sweeping the nation.

Another interview featured the group in the national music publication STREETSOUND magazine in June 1988, where once again the attention was on the early Canadian rap scene, its perceived violence, and the importance of the group’s performances. Neely commented: “When people come to a show, they’re critical. They come to see a performance. It’s got to be rockin’ from beginning to end. It has to be an organized performance, unlike four years ago, when everybody would just jam. No fighting, no chain snatching, no B-Boy destruction”.

Performing at Concert Hall – Masonic Temple (888 Yonge St. Toronto) which is regarded as the temple for Canadian Hip Hop performances is what Shadow is most unequivocal about. “You weren’t legit unless you performed at Concert Hall”. “It was a tough crowd, people got booed off stage and bottles thrown at them. If you were wack, people let you know it – right there”.

At this time Toronto served as the epicenter of Canadian hip hop music and hosted rap battles (dubbed Monster Jams) with established US performers. In 1988 the rap battles changed from primarily NYC artists and expanded to invite talents from other US cities. A local promoter involved in the events and in particular a pending “Philadelphia vs. Toronto Battle, proposed a contest (to the management team) between Fresh Prince (Will Smith) and MC Shadow. The invitation was declined by Smith’s management team in part based upon the successful launch of his, then recent, album release ‘Parents Don’t Understand’. 

The group eventually disbanded in the fall of 1989. Neely teamed up with former Get Loose Crew member Carl Badwa (aka MC B, B Kool, Carlito) as a rap duo Double Trouble. The two worked on preproduction material and song writing including tracks titled “Above the rest” and “Freelancin”. Despite several studio sessions, recording was not fully completed and prior to any release the duo separated to pursue solo efforts.

After the split with MC B, Shadow recorded with DJ Jel (Chris Jackson) as his producer for unreleased titles Gangsta Who and the remixed hip hop version of (What I’m Sayin released in 1994) It’s What I’m Sayin (October 10, 1990), which is sampled with various James Brown songs. They produced several unreleased titles; My Message (October 10, 1990), Get With The Program (October 10, 1990), Promises Promises (October 10, 1990), Make it Funky (October 10, 1990), Step into the Darkside (October 14, 1990), Check Ya Balance (November 7, 1990), and Smooth Criminal (November 14, 1990). A Christmas song titled Frosty the Hitman was written and abandoned in pre-production.



With no major Canadian Record label interested in the prospect of signing local Canadian talent, the decision was made to form the independent label East Park Productions. The formation of this company marked it as only one of two Hip-Hop independent record labels in Toronto and Canada. Beat Factory Records in Pickering was the first to be established and ultimately secured distribution from a major US record label.

Neely attended a meeting on behalf of Get Loose Crew in Markham, Ontario at Electric Distribution where after much debate, he successfully convinced executive Dominic Zgarka to enter into a global distribution agreement for their soon to be released record.

In the spring of 1987 Cinram, located in Markham was selected for pressing the record as opposed to having it manufactured in New York City and shipped to Canada. There were two delays in producing the record which were caused by damage to the machines and equipment and managed to disrupt to the manufacturing process. This was due to the amount of bass in the original recording from the studio for their self-titled song Get Loose Crew which broke equalizer equipment and shut down production lines for a couple of weeks. After the initial repair, a subsequent similar event occurred causing an additional shut down of the line and a delay in the manufacturing and release.

With the agreement in place prior to December 1987 (endorsed in February the following year), they were the first Canadian rap group to record and release an authentic Hip-Hop mini album internationally. Up to this point only 12” domestic products had been produced without known or recognized distribution. The Get Loose Crew record was considered a mini-LP, (or EP) having only four individual tracks with four accompanying instrumentals. Up to that date in time, no Canadian Hip-Hop record had been sold outside of Canada.

The record landed on shelves on March 16th, 1988 in local iconic record stores ‘Sam the Record Man’, ‘Streetsound’, ‘Traxx’ as well as other national stores throughout Canada. Shortly after, the record was distributed to and sold in United States markets and other Countries throughout the world. Distribution and sales of the record are confirmed in Canada, United States, Australia, U.K, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and other parts of Europe.  This defined them as the first Canadian Hip Hop group to achieve international distribution and record sales.

After the release of the Get Loose Crew record, the intention was to utilize the label to promote and release other local artists: MC Rok, West End Kids, Junior MC’s, and Bubble Gum MC’s between June and October of 1988. Notwithstanding having an organized business plan and artists available to develop, it was ultimately the lack of funding that led to the demise of the goal to expand the label. East Park Productions became dormant in late 1989.

The limited released Get Loose Crew recording has become a rare find, selling at online auctions and private collectors, having commanded as high as 107.00 Euro (approximately $138.00 US Dollars) and remains highly sought after among vinyl collectors.



Established in NYC, British Knights (Schwartz Shoes Inc.), a small, family-owned company with four generations of experience in the footwear game who took their cues from the street – from the fresh new energy of hip hop music and the explosive colors of graffiti art.  Rappers everywhere were scampering to be associated with or be the first to sport the newest unseen or inaccessible sports brand clothing lines of shoes and other apparel.

In a February 1988 letter that Shadow wrote to the company he asked if they would provide a clothing sponsorship for the group. Larry Schwartz (son of founder Jack Schwartz) responded that the company could not sponsor Get Loose Crew, indicating that they were already engaged in a campaign for rapper Kool Moe Dee and not taking on any other commitments. In recognition of the groups support for the BK brand, Schwartz sent a box containing numerous pieces of British Knights apparel (not available in Canada) for the group to wear at performances, interviews, and other events.

In his television interview and performance for CBC Television show Switchback, and on the cover of the album, Neely can be seen wearing a sweatshirt from the clothier.

While not an official sponsorship of their group, it was regarded as an unofficial endorsement of recognition from the company and exclusive opportunity for the group to promote the brand north of the border. This event is seen as the first and only known form of endorsement by a clothing manufacturer of a Canadian Hip-Hop group.


In January 1988, producers (Alan [sic]) at TNT Studios in Toronto contacted Shadow through promoter Rawle James to record on a dance track called ‘Bam Bam Boogie’. The producers were seeking a rapper that could provide vocals over a mainstream dance track that was far from the current underground Hip-Hop scene. After completing a recording session Shadow declined to work on the project citing that “the lyrics and song were not his style and that he was a Hip-Hop rapper, not a dance act.”

A variation of the song was released and successfully sold in Europe.

1990 – 1994


In early 1990, Shadow pursued a solo effort under the name JUST ME, teaming up with female singer, friend and fellow alum from East York Collegiate Institute, Kaye Sergeant.  They began studio work recording their first album and while the R & B style vocals presented a dramatic shift from his roots in Hip hop it led to his subsequent development as an R&B and Dance music rap artist.

In 1990 the music scene in Canada was heating up with pleas from the community for an FM licence for an urban music station. Fellow Get Loose Crew alum B-Kool (Carl Badwa) and Self Defense (Chris “DJ Jel” Jackson & Stanley McCook) participated in the supergroup Dance Appeal who released the Juno Award nomination Best R&B/Soul Recording single “Can’t Repress the Cause” in 1990.

Facing a similar struggle for sustainability was York University Radio Station CHRY 105.5 which broadcasted the Mastermind Show hosted by DJ Paul Parhar aka Mastermind. Regarded as an authority and source of Hip Hop information, he promoted an initiative titled “Increase the Peace” as an effort the address scourge of violence plaguing the Hip Hop scene in Toronto. In September 1990, his show broadcasted an on-air campaign to raise funds for the station. Jackson and Neely produced and submitted the song titled CHRY Pledge Rap (written September 27, 1990) in support of the station and the shows fundraising effort.

1990 – 1994
1991 – 1994


In 1991 he signed a management deal with Alric Hutchinson and joined the artist roster of independent label ‘Altrax Records’. Television show Extendamix, hosted by Master T (Tony Young) established a tour featuring labelmates Self-Defence (who were Get Loose Crew alum) Chris “DJ Jel” Jackson and producer Stanley “S-Blank” McCook where Shadow opened for the show under the group name JUST Me.

The venues (throughout 1991) included: Club 2000 (Brampton), Club Motions (Brantford), Hart House (University of Toronto), Roxy (Ottawa), Caribbean Club (London), Western University (London), Peter Clark Hall (University of Guelph) and Mohawk College (Hamilton).

Performances consisted of a stage show that featured a combination of two dancers that would enter the stage during a choreographed musical introduction of approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute duration and typically played sampled beats and studio mixes to form the music lead in. The dancers, a combination of pairs of male and female dancers: Bam Bam & Capitol C, Rhythm & Blues, (to name a few) would perform in tandem with Shadow as a part of a choreographed performance of three to four songs and up to approximately 30 minutes total. The shows were recorded by Hutchinson for Altrax Records.   

It was a September 3, 1991 meeting with Resource Media’s Kevin Fox in Toronto that became the closest opportunity to produce a music video project for the song What I’m Sayin. Concept and production notes dated September 8, 1991 laid out the concept for the video shoot. Ultimately, the project did not reach the treatment stage was once again not completed due to an inability to secure funding for the project.

Neely was also invited to an audition for retailer Woolco on July 14, 1991 in downtown Toronto for Lynx brand running shoes. He was provided with the lyrics prior to the audition and after the performance was told by the Director that “he wasn’t the type of rapper that they were looking for.” The commercial was changed from the original format and featured a softer type of rapper (much different in appearance and performance than the material provided initially to Altrax Records.)

1991 – 1994
1991 – 1994


Under the Altrax label, Shadow and Sargeant worked with producers Len Grant and Rupert Gayle from Midiland International in Pickering Ontario. Grant was the lead producer and credited with producing What I’m Sayin’ and Do a little dance.

In 1991 the duo began working together and recorded several songs for an album project titled JUST Me – unreleased. The unique Rap and R&B duo of Shadow and Sargeant caught the interest of Strictly Rhythm Records and Attic Records in New York City. Do a little dance was sent to Attic on February 22, 1991. The A&R representative remarked at the time that they were surprised that “the artist was a white guy”, despite a series of negotiations, a deal could not be solidified with the label and ultimately the team passed on their offer. Strictly Rhythm had just signed the group Reel 2 Reel and pushing that groups step off release I Like To Move It did not have room on their artist roster. 

The duo toured as part of a Toronto-based television program Electric CircusExtendamix and performed in a music festival based in Ottawa that included actor/comedian Tom Green and his local group Disorganized Rhyme. Shadow and Sargeant parted ways later that year with a catalog of unreleased material. 

Ultimately 13 songs were written and in various stages of pre-production but only: What I’m Sayin’, Do a little Dance, Doin’ it all night, Played out, Similar and a song called Foolin’ Yourself were recorded. The song Doin’ it all night (written December 1993) remained in the catalog belonging to MC Shadow and unreleased until June 2017 where it was included in the US Television Series FRONT MEN in an episode called Origins. In 2020 the production also used Played Out (written December 1993) as the soundtrack for the series in Episode 4 titled WIN WIN WIN.

1991 – 1994


In 1994 he was featured on MIRGIN / UKA Records multi-track CD compilation Mega Dance Vol. 1 with the song What I’m Sayin’ (written September 30, 1990 and recorded March 12, 1992) Originally a Hip-Hop version titled It’s What I’m Sayin recorded with female vocalists Martika Wiley and Rashan Olbey, the song was re-recorded and released with Kaye Sargeant and received the FACTOR new talent demo award in May 1991.

Later that same year they appeared on another compilation production America’s Most Wanted Freestyle 94, with the track Do a Little Dance (written September 25, 1990 and recorded March 12, 1992).



In March 2010, the Toronto Free Gallery hosted an exhibit called T-Dot Pioneers: An Exploration of Toronto Hip Hop History and Culture. The exhibit featured items from the birth of Toronto hip hop including old photographs, posters, vinyl, and awards. Featured at the exhibit and prominently displayed was the Get Loose Crew album.

This was the first time that Neely and his former group had come together.  They gave interviews with local media providing perspective on a lost generation of hip hop and confirming roots in a rich local music culture dating back to the early 1980s.

The exhibit coincided with the launch of a new Canadian Hip Hop website, Northside Hip Hop, which featured MC Shadow and the Get Loose Crew as pioneers in Canadian Hip Hop music.



Based upon the foundation of the success of the T-Dot Pioneers Exhibit, Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) held a Hip Hop Summit in 2011 with a live recorded show commemorating Hip Hop History hosted in the Glenn Gould Studio within the CBC building in Toronto. The celebration was a red-carpet event and displayed items such as photographs, flyers, vinyl cassettes and other paraphernalia now considered artifacts. 

The summit brought together and united founders of Canadian Hip Hop Music as part of an exclusive concert. The exhibition, paying respect to Canadian Hip Hop by documenting its history through performance lasted several days. Shadow was once again reunited with his peers and fellow pioneers in the local and Canadian Hip Hop industry. While the crew did not unify for a performance, the group’s album was displayed on the iconic Glenn Gould Studio Wall and in a showcase with an homage paid to his group (Get Loose Crew) by summit host/artist Buck 65 during the closing show.


When asked by an interviewer at the CBC Summit for an assessment of his works and not having achieved industry recognition with a Juno (Canada’s equivalent to the Grammy’s) nomination or other similar status Shadow commented:

My interest in hip hop was for the love of the music; writing, recording, and composing. My goal was to be recorded and I didn’t think beyond that. I never considered a career as a rapper any more than I realized what we were doing at that time – being pioneers in Canadian hip hop music…”


2013 – Present


Sensing audiences did not appreciate the rich history and profound roots of the genre served as inspiration to Shadow to launch an initiative and establish a modern-day bookend album for his historical involvement and testimonial of his contributions to the subculture.

Teaming up with former Capitol Records artist and contributing producer for Canadian Idol; Frank “Tekniq” Morell, they began working together on the ‘Trilogy Project’. Neely revived the dormant indie label East Park Productions for the launch of the project.

The duo produced and released 3 singles in 2015. Resurrection, Lost and Lullaby of Pain. ‘Resurrection’ was welcomed with a 5th spot entry on Indie Music/College Radio Chart !earshot. The song remained for 5 weeks, accompanied with airplay across Canada for the next several months. ‘Lullaby of Pain’ remains one of the most popularly downloaded songs of the three on Spotify and iTunes.

2013 – Present


Intending to reaffirm his place in music history in 2016, Shadow approached Manee Osman, a Toronto-based film and music video director who had attained notoriety for a promotional video he filmed for Ciroc vodka, owned by Sean ‘Diddy’ Coombs. Osman and Neely developed a unique and original video concept for each of the music single releases in the form of a Trilogy, featuring ‘Resurrection’ as the first instalment. The undertaking is a first of its kind in any music genre, with each video presenting an individual story of a group of characters along a continuous single storyline, centered around four friends, their execution of a bank heist with inevitable mystery and betrayal.

The three-part music video trilogy will be available as individual short videos and ultimately combined into a short film directed by Manee Osman and inspired by films like “Fast and the Furious”, “Revolver” and “Ocean’s Eleven”.

The first chapter Resurrection, establishes the setting in the backdrop of a metropolitan city and follows four associates all having mysterious, shady pasts and specialized skills who come together to plan a colossal bank heist. It ends with a climactic revelation that their ill-gotten gains have been switched out with Circus Flyers.

Part Two Lost, continues the story with the revelation that there is a thief and treacherous turncoat among them.  Someone is slowly killing members of the crew as the Police are closing in on them. The viewer is immersed deeper into the story with each character’s demise, a series of plot twists and unforeseeable endings.

The final chapter Lullaby of Pain reveals the identity of the killer with a breathtaking ending filmed on location in Las Vegas and uncovers the turn of events throughout the journey of deception, betrayal, and murder.

Due to a serious health issue in 2016, production was temporarily halted after filming the second installment Lost.

Each installment is edited into both a three-minute Television Music Video format and a seven-minute Directors Cut that would serve (independently) as a Short Film. Each installment can be viewed individually and collectively and serve as individual chapters of a complete story dubbed The Trilogy.

The three Directors Cut versions will be ultimately edited into a twenty-one-minute short film to be premiered at a Red-Carpet event in Hollywood California and submitted to Film Festivals.

Resurrection was released in 2015 and had an accompanying premiere held in the 1 King St. West Bank Vault in Toronto, which had served as one of the symbolic locations within the production.

The project features international model Melissa Night, Toronto actors; Paul Lamb & Eric Parris with a special appearance from Miss World Canada 2014 delegate Yarine Pernia. Shadow portrays the films protagonist and serves as Producer and co-writer on the project. He is credited as writing the script for the final instalment of the Trilogy production.

When asked about the project Shadow indicated  “I wanted to get back to the importance of telling a story through music. The songs and the videos should stand ‘on their own’ but together, it should be an experience.”

2017 – 2020


In 2017, Shadow was approached by director Neil D’Monte, an accomplished film actor, storyboard artist, producer, and musician. He was asked to contribute material from his music catalog for a comedy television series Front Men created by actor/writer Jon Simon.

A directorial debut for his friend D’Monte, Shadow’s songs Doin’ It All Night and Played Out were featured in the Pilot and Episode Four. Shadow was thrilled to attend the Hollywood Red Carpet premiere at the LA Downtown Theatre and gratified by having his legacy musical works included in a modern-day television series. Shadow is currently in discussions with creator Jon Simon to produce a music video for Played Out, featuring sequences from the episodes.      

2017 – 2020


May 1988: Urban music record chart CHEER Backfield in motion, Toronto listed the Get Loose Crew song WANNABE in 5th position.

June 1988: STREETSOUND Magazine. Interview with Jonbronski Adams (with Get Loose Crew) Discussing the new Hip Hop era in Canada.

September 2014: BlogTo, an online magazine in Toronto, published an article that included the Get Loose Crew album (with an honourable mention) as part of their compiled ‘10 most collectable Toronto albums of all time’ list. 

October 2015: The song Resurrection debuted on Canadian Independent Campus Radio Music Chart !earshot in the #5 position, holding that spot for several weeks and garnering nationwide airplay.

October 2015: A music review by aspiring journalist Samantha Stevens at the Voice Magazine (a university publication available online) described MC Shadow’s latest singles as “phenomenal and a credit to the rap and hip-hop genres.


In January 2016, Indie Connectors, (an independent company that posts online editorial submissions from various industry experts in professions in media, whose submissions serve as a reference for artists seeking advice) posted an editorial written by Shadow titled “Looking forward in the rear-view mirror”. The piece was a testimonial to his music career as a pioneer in the Canadian Hip Hop music industry.



Legendary Canadian interviewer and musician Nardwuar (John Ruskin) has been a proactive voice confirming and validating the status of the Get Loose Crew and their accomplishment within the Hip Hop music industry for years. During interviews with Canada’s most significant and accomplished Hip Hop artists, he has consistently sought recognition for the Get Loose Crew by presenting the interviewee with a copy of the record and questioning them to confirm and acknowledge the groups achievements. In an interview with Maestro Fresh Wes, credited as the “Godfather of Canadian hip hop”, Nardwuar asks: “Is this the first Hip Hop record to come out of Canada?” ”Is this before you?” Wes confirms the assertion and acknowledging with “Yo, definitely this came out before me.” He further affirms the significance of the Crews accomplishment by saying, “Yeah, this is big right here.” (NARDUAR Interview 47:40 to 48:20).

The groups notoriety was further recognized in an interview with Kardinal Offishall, credited as Canada’s “hip hop ambassador”, where Nardwuar once again quizzes him and proclaims their notable achievement in the Canadian Hip Hop and Music Industry. (NARDUAR Interview 4:55 to 5:50)

Nardwuar promulgated on his social media account with a photo taken by Toronto’s NOW Magazine (photographer Samuel Edelking) for a 2017 article titled Nardwuar breaks down his best and worst interview moments in which he appears in a record store in Toronto holding a copy of the Get Loose Crew album. The post reads Nardwuar holding the first rap record to come out of Canada in 1988! It’s by The Get Loose Crew!”

The Voice Magazine

Journalist and aspiring writer Samantha Stevens of The Voice Magazine, described Shadow as “a veteran rap and hip-hop artist who began in the 80s” and goes on to confirm his accomplishments by stating, “Achieving some success with his band Get Loose Crew in the late 80s and early 90s and is credited with being the first white rapper in Canada”.

In her critique of the singles Resurrection, Lost and Lullaby of Pain, as well an assessment of the visual production of ‘Resurrection’ she remarks “MC Shadow’s latest singles are phenomenal and a credit to the rap and hip-hop genres.”  Stevens declares that “Resurrection” is closer to a movie than a simple music video. This is intended to be part of a trilogy of videos and short film that he is creating.”

University of Toronto

The Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto undertook an academic study, the first of its kind in Canada, exploring the history of Toronto Hip Hop in relation to the contributions of artists to the national and cultural history of Canada. The research project focuses on the historical period of 1985 – 2020 tracing the history of Toronto Hip Hop, and the relationship that Hip Hop practitioners and culture industry professionals have had to the music marketplace and creative industries in both the City of Toronto and Canada more broadly.

It explored how the Toronto Hip Hop scene has unfolded over the past thirty-five years, and how the members of this arts community developed an infrastructure to support their artistic expression in spite of industry practices that have limited, excluded, and marginalized their participation in the Canadian music marketplace

Shadow was identified as “a prominent member of “Toronto’s Hip Hop history and the history of Canada’s culture industries” by Dr. Francesca D’Amico-Cuthbert PhD of the Jackman Humanities Institute, at the University of Toronto.  She has referred to Shadow as “an Architect in the Canadian Hip Hop Music scene” Shadow’s direct contributions, efforts, and memorabilia as a Hip-Hop artist from the early years in 1984 through to 2021 have been officially documented into the Canadian Council of Archives (CCA), a joint initiative of CCA, the Provincial and Territorial Archival Networks, and Library and Archives Canada (LAC).


An homage paid to Hip Hop artists is to have segments or samples of their vocals used by other artists in their works. The vocals of MC Shadow and MC B (Get Loose Crew) were used during a concert performance in California called Pushing Buttons with DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, DJ Numark.

The opening of the 1988 Get Loose Crew song Wannabe features an exchange between Shadow and his rhyme partner. This vocal was sampled and used between the DJ Numark & DJ Shadow to interact during their 2005 concert.  


After being bandmates in the Get Loose Crew, Shadow collaborated with B-Kool (Carl Badwa); Juno Award winner for Best R&B Soul Recording for Dance to the Music, as the rap duo Double Trouble. The duo has since reunited to produce a new track and video that is in development and slated for a 2021-22 release.

Shadow has collaborated with producer and Juno Award nominee Frank ‘Tekniq’ Morell from the Bomb Shelta Association on The Trilogy Project and other musical projects.

Artist Sarah Beatty (2012 Hamilton Music Award nominee for Roots Recording of the Year) is on Resurrection, Lullaby of Pain, and together they have created a remake of her song Dark Days from her album Black Gramophone.

He has collaborated with Juno Award winner, artist Nelson ‘DEDOS’ Garcia, a hip-hop innovator of Nomadic Alternatives and a founding member of Canadian Rap group the Rascalz. Garcia has been commissioned (exclusively) for MC Shadow projects and has done the artwork covers for his singles Resurrection, Lost, Lullaby of Pain, Played Out, Doin’ it all night (of Front Men TV show) and Judgement. His art is also on the Movie posters used for the short film ‘Trilogy’ project.

Collaborated with Nashville Country singer ‘Rick Henry’, renown widely in the United States of recent TV fame as “the Singing Cop” on a Country/Rap music song.


In 1988, his group Get Loose Crew were featured on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) variety & comedy talk show Switchback (TV series), hosted by comedian Eric Tunney. He was interviewed by Tunney and performed their album’s title track Get Loose Crew. The episode also featured Toronto Radio personality DJ Chris Sheppard CFNY102.1 Radio FM serving as a co-host.

In 1990 Shadow (unsuccessfully) auditioned for a commercial for retailer Woolco. It was a back-to-school commercial featuring Lynx brand running shoes.

In 2017 US Television comedy show Front Men featured unreleased song Doin’ it all night in the pilot episode titled Origins.

In 2020, Episode 4 WIN WIN WIN of the Front Men series featured unreleased track Played Out as the shows’ soundtrack.      


Character: James LeFont
(Short Film) Actor, Producer, Writer, Composer
Director: Manee Osman Films

Character: James LeFont
(Short Film) Actor, Producer, Writer, Composer
Director: Manee Osman Films

American Grace
(Feature Film) Producer

Lullaby of Pain
(Short Film) Actor, Producer, Writer, Composer


Production: Hello Dolly
Character: “Harry the Horse”
High School Production with a performance at Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto
Written by: Adam P. Cray (Author & Filmmaker)


First White Canadian rap artist to be professionally recorded and sold internationally

Second White rap artist to be recorded on vinyl in the world next to The Beastie Boys

Rap battle (Toronto vs. Philadelphia) was being arranged between Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (Wil Smith) and MC Shadow in 1987 - derailed by the release of the album release 'Parents Just Don't Understand'

Charted in 5th position in 1988 with track ‘Wannabe’ against (now) Industry Icons Kool Moe Dee, Eric B & Rakim, Boogie Down Productions, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and ICE-T & Big Daddy Kane

Tom Green – (fame from ‘Disorganized Rhyme’ & Television & Film) opened for co-band mates Self Defence and MC Shadow (JUST Me) at Ottawa Rap Festival

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