Being a white Canadian rapper is probably a pretty rare thing (in fact being a Canadian rapper or a white rapper is rare in its own right). But even though he is white and Canadian, Mad Child is probably one of the hardest working rappers out there. You might know him best as a member of the hip-hop duo Swollen Members, along with Prevail and former member and frequent collaborator Moka Only (as well as producer/DJ Rob The Viking). But Mad has a prolific career outside of his most well-known artistic output. In addition to the ten albums he has released with the Members (with an 11th due out this year), he has also recorded five solo EPs, four solo LPs (with a fifth, Super Beast, also due out this year), one EP and one full-length with Flipout, a collaboration with the aforementioned Moka Only, and out later this year is debut album with group Supreme Villain. Talk about prolific.
But there is another side of Shane Bunting that many don’t see. His activist side. He is the co-founder and president of Battleaxe Warriors, a movement and gathering, “a worldwide family of creative and like-minded people”. The movement is about passion, he claims, “based on positivity and fam tactics where loyalty and respect rises above all. “. He is very explicit in saying that BW is not a gang. On that note, Mad Child seems to have turned a corner in recent years, both personally and professionally. When I asked him about the media’s notion that rap is too violent and misogynistic, he doesn’t disagree fully with that assessment. Rather, he claims that violent, gangsta rap is just one branch of hip-hop (in fact, rap itself would be a branch of hip-hop) and says it is at times unfortunate that that is all people perceive that culture to be. He speaks with a bit of regret in recounting the times when he himself used to promote that lifestyle, but has turned his focus to more positive living, which he takes time out of every day to think about.
Speaking of gangs, Mad Child is in full support of his friends Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope aka Insane Clown Posse who recently sued the FBI for labelling the Juggalos – the name of ICP’s fan following – a criminal, organized gang. While it’s true that there are two factions of Juggalos and Juggalettes, one violent and one non-violent, Shane believes (as do I) that it is unfair generalization and stereotype based on how they look and dress.
In many ways, Bunting talks about the Battleaxe movement like a preacher. I don’t know whether he was saved or not, (though he is a believer), or whether he simply looked in the mirror and didn’t like what he saw, but it is refreshing to hear from a rap artist who is not only well-spoken, but who isn’t all about weed, crime, violence, women and fast cars.
Lawn Mower Man was released in September and Super Beast will be released later this year.
RIYL: Swollen Members, Prevail, Moka Only, Dirtbag Dan, 360,