Mike Shabb is undeniably one of the hardest working rappers in Montreal. Following a series of accomplishments with Northwave and Newave (2018), GLOOM (2019) and his single Big Bag in collaboration with VNCE CARTER, which has over a million streams, the 22-years old rapper is back with Life Is Short, his most mature and personal project to date.
Mike Shabb has been unstoppable since releasing his first album, Northwave, in 2018. The 22-years old rapper never rested on his laurels, even after VICE named him “the future of Quebec hip-hop” when he first started out at 19. The music, and the hard work behind it, remains his priority, and he won’t let anything distract him.
Powered by his Northwave release, Mike Shabb quickly established himself as a committed rapper and beatmaker, despite his young age. He’s been very productive since then, releasing his EP Newave (2018), his album GLOOM (2019) and his single Big Bag with VNCE CARTER, which has earned over one million streams. On top of these accomplishments, Mike Shabb continues to craft his artistry by developing his own sound and voice, as well as collaborating with up-and-coming talent from Montreal.
Northwave was Shabb’s first full record, written and produced by himself in the middle of winter. Next he set to work on his Newave EP and started experimenting with singing, harder raps and cutting edge sounds. Without ever taking a break, the Montreal rapper went on to create GLOOM, this time traveling to Los Angeles for a week with some friends and his recording equipment. The west-coast’s laid back vibe inspired a more personal, sentimental flow of lyrics. At the time of its release, Mike learned that his father had sadly taken his own life, and his work took on an unexpectedly somber meaning. One year later, Mike has made peace with that heavy chapter, and continues to focus on his goals.
On stage, Mike Shabb stands out as one of the most energetic performers of his generation. He got the honour of being the first artist to ever play the hip-hop festival Metro Metro in May 2019, in front of a thousand people who came to see him inaugurate the event. Since 2018, Mike Shabb has performed in all major cities across Quebec, and shared the stage several times with Dead Obies. He’s also opened for major artists like Playboi Carti and Lil Mosey in front of thousands of rap enthusiasts, who quickly became his new fans. His sets at OUMF in 2018 and 2019 showed everyone that a Mike Shabb concert means a hyped-up crowd and a guaranteed mosh-pit, plus half the fans end up joining him on stage by the end of the show.
Now, Mike Shabb is back with a powerful fourth release, Life Is Short, on which he delivers a solid performance and steps out of his comfort zone. There is a maturity and a personal touch to his vocals and lyrics, and a variety of influences play across all songs. By partnering with VNCE CARTER and Danny Ill, the productions on Life Is Short are at times upbeat, sometimes 80s-flavored, but always effective and catchy. Shabb proves his versatility on the mic, using different rap flows and singing on all of the record’s nine tracks. Hands down one of the hardest working rappers in Montreal, Mike Shabb proves that talent, ambition and devotion make Montreal English hip-hop shine, inside and outside of Quebec.