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Toronto Rapper Shah – Trapped in America

Toronto Rapper Shah – Trapped in America
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As reported by the New York Daily News, while traveling to Atlanta for the city’s A3C Music Conference in October 2016, Shah was detained by the Department of Homeland Security. The Toronto rapper was not provided with any reason for the detainment, only being informed that Homeland Security had the right to detain any Canadian at their discretion. Shah ultimately did make it to Atlanta where his song Pay Day 71 found an early audience. The song’s lyrics tackle the gender wage gap (the title Pay Day 71 is a reference to women earning only 71% as much as their male counterparts), however it was the song’s bass laden trap vibe that led to the song catching on in Atlanta’s clubs.

 

The NY Daily News also described how, after arriving to Atlanta, Shah was effectively caught in legal entrapment, meaning he would be unable to return to Canada because any subsequent detainment, even if unwarranted, would automatically result in the rapper being banned from the US. What this means, is that Shah has been trapped in America. Since that time, it appears that Shah has spent the majority of his time in Atlanta. As can be seen on social media, Shah has been embraced by Atlanta’s strip club DJs, earning him comparisons to Atlanta rapper Future, who’s career propelled after receiving cosigns from the city’s strip club circuit. Magic City in particular has served as Shah’s sanctuary during his legal entrapment. Magic City debuted Shah’s most recent song Just Text, with the famed club and its long time resident DJ Outlaw 3000 making cameo appearances in its video. Just Text was produced by producer My Buddy, winner of seven consecutive Atlanta Production Battles, who Shah states he never would have met if not for becoming trapped in America. Shah has also began working with Atlanta based non-profit organization Project South, which offers a series of Know Your Rights presentations to impacted communities as well as puts together a legal infrastructure in the US Southeast by training lawyers on how to represent Muslims and immigrants in the Trump era.

 

Hip hop blogs such as Allhiphop have also reported that Shah credits Atlanta with providing his music with the ‘southern soul’ that has helped him attain his mainstream success. He has received accolades such as being named one of the top 10 Independent Artists of 2017, and had previously been named one of Toronto’s top rappers.

 

It is not clear when Shah will be able to return home to Toronto.

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