David Shabani
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David Shabani

Dallas, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Dallas, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Solo Hip Hop Alternative




"Austin's David Shabani Can Freestyle Better Than That Drake Track Y'all Keep Playing"

If you're into the non-radio-play hip hop scene even a bit, you know that the Drake "Back to Back" freestyle diss track that the sports-cursing Canadian dropped on SoundCloud a month ago has been just about the only off the cuff verses anyone has been hearing lately (63.9 million plays as of this posting), so much so that the thing must be paying all of Soundcloud's bills by its own damn self at this point. So, maybe now we think is a good time to be reminded that just 'cause one really famous rich dude made another sort-of famous rich dude look somewhat goofy in a fairly decent freestyle rap, Drake's verses weren't good enough to end all of freestyling forever. Hell some of them ain't even that good- there's def cats out there who hold down rapping's most difficult and impressive tradition with much more power and skill, and they're still droppin' bombs on SoundCloud even after the Destruction of Meek Mill at the Hands of the Canadian Aubrey Drake Graham.

To wit, give yer brain an ice-cold dose of Austin's David Shabani and his newest release, a freestyle good enough to be an album track called "YUL to DFW" that'll get you right cool for these last few mind boiling summer days. Shabani is, as the track's title might suggest to those who are hip to the locational acronym game, a Texan via French Canada who has been building a rep and a fan base here in Austin through a consistent, quality output of tracks (a ton of his stuff is free on SoundCloud) and some big damn shows like an appearance at the 2014 X Games out at that big fuckoff rich person racetrack thingy. "YUL to DFW" is catchy like some kinda head-noddin' virus and does everything a truly good freestyle does- it's fast, smart as hell, it sounds so clean and put together it's hard to believe it's all off the dome, and you wanna jam it again a few times just to catch everything.

Freestylin' should be part approachable shit, like references to pop culture and current events or common daily life shit, and part personal perspective and peaks into the rapper's life. Shabani knows this, flows this and nails this, dropping in everything from bits on Star Wars, Anita Baker, Montreal not having an NBA team and even looking for the remote in the couch while sticking in personal shit like a bit on his life story, such as in the hook (the part that'll definitely get stuck in your head) where he lays out he went from "Montreal to Hamilton/Hamilton to Dallas/Dallas down to Austin/Feelin' good, feelin' awesome." That call-out to these four heavily populated areas should make it instantly dig-able by anyone with the good fortune to live in any of em, and should especially hit with Austinites, this city being so full of transplants and all (for better or worse, though in Shabani's case certainly for the better).

Let Shabani get up in your head and move that mildly great Drake piece right along into the museum of old freestyles where it belongs, and also get introduced to one of Austin's solid young rappers heading up the Most Likely to Succeed pack in this city's scene with this freestyle below, as well as his other tracks over at the internet's home for new hip-hop tracks before Meek Mill just loses it and tries to burn down their server warehouses.

-Trevor Talley - The Austin Deli

"David Shabani - Summers in Montreal"

Since making stops in Dallas and landing in Austin, David Shabani‘s love for his hometown is still ever present as evidenced by his latest track “Summers in Montreal”. Starting things off appropriately with some french lyrics, the reminiscent single is a solo effort from the artist, drawing from his own personal experiences and memories. Press play below to listen to the song due to be included on his upcoming Cold Showers mixtape. - Mr. SUPERLATIVE

"David Shabani - Nine To Five (Freestyle)"

“I’m a calm boy: raised well, but I can raise hell” – There couldn’t be a better way to sum up “Nine To Five (Freestyle)”, a somber track found on David Shabani’s Drinking Games mixtape.
David uses Illmind’s mellow beat as a backdrop to his stream of consciousness. Because of the high expectations that he’s had for himself, things weren’t always easy for David Shabani. But now that he’s made it to this point in his life, David’s not letting anything stop his ascent to greatness. Zone out to the freestyle below, and check out the full 21-track project here. - Mr. SUPERLATIVE

"David Shabani – New Year"

Following the trend set by other singles like “Ignorance” and “Summers in Montreal”, David Shabani‘s latest Cold Showers preview,”New Year,” features the Montreal-to-Texas transplant’s self-conscious yet defiantly sharp-witted flow lacing its way through trap-styled snares and kicks. “No new tears / No new fears” Shabani rhymes, or maybe resolves, just before producer Omito’s psychedelic beat––featuring a surgical sample of Seals and Croft’s ’72 hit “Summer Breeze”––breaks in to set the tone for Shabani’s confident and relaxed flow. Listening to “New Year,” it’s clear that Shabani is a story-teller with plenty to say, with multiple plays usually revealing something you probably missed that first time you streamed it after 1am. Check out more from Shabani on his SoundCloud to grab his 2012 mixtape Vodka Water, and make sure to watch for his next mixtape Cold Showers to drop sometime in September. - Mr. SUPERLATIVE

"Rapper David Shabani Interview by Jemini Wise"

Alright, we are here in a very nice bus that is only supposedly 10 years old but it looks brand new, I swear it does. And we are here with the winner of the Hard Rock Cafe “Hard Rock Rising Battle of the Bands” and go ahead and introduce yourself.

I’m David Shabani, David Shabani from San Marcos Texas by way of Dallas Texas, by way of Montreal Quebec.

Oh wow, so you’re actually a Canadian and moved to Dallas and now somehow moved to San Marcos. Do tell.

Well I’m from Montreal, when my mom got married to my step pops we moved to Dallas, and I’m in college now so I’m at Texas State in San Marcos.

Oh, Texas State, very good school, very very good school, so are you a music major? Along those lines?

Actually not even anywhere along those lines. I’m a Political Science major and Communication Studies major.

So how did you get involved, how did you get into the music industry?

I mean, I listened to hip-hop, you know I’m from Montreal so French was my first language so even before I spoke English I was listening to Wu-Tang and a lot of hip-hop so by the time I came down here I was writing my stuff and I just kept putting money into but I just kinda thought to myself, in the professional life if I don’t take off in music I should study political science. But now that music is getting a little more serious and I’m starting to do shows and and getting asked to do shows, starting to get a folliwing in Dallas and in Austin, I don’t know about school, I guess I’ll graduate but besides that i’m more focused on music

Yea I would definitely graduate just to have that behind your back and underneath your belt, most definitely. But yea for sure, I saw the two songs you performed tonight and those were both originals?


Ok, they’re very good, very good. I’m not too big of a hip hop person but you’re pretty damn good. You’re pretty damn good. I could hear what you were saying very clearly as oppose to some of the other rappers I’ve listened to, it’s so garbled and muzzled and they might as well be screaming in the microphone, but you’re pretty good you have a natural talent for sure.

That’s something like, I don’t know, the thing is you know when I’m on stage I don’t hear myself. I don’t hear what people hear I just rap, so I wonder if people are hearing the words that I wrote. If they are hearing what I said so I’m always flattered when people say “I heard your lyrics I like your lyrics a lot”. As soon as I get off the stage and people say “that was cool”, “that was a masterpiece”, “I heard the lyrics”, that’s something that I try hard to make happen. If someone comes to me and tells me “I heard the lyrics”, thats probably the greatest compliment I can get.

So you’re basically kind of a one man band?

Yea, I’m kinda all alone. It’s funny at this Hard Rock Battle of the Bands thing, Hard Rock Cafe Battle of the Bands, everyone is going up there and setting up. They all have a band, then they have the guys that set up for them and they have all these instruments and it takes them like 30 minutes to set up, and I just walk up on stage. I usually just have my computer. Which is even funnier cause it’s usually have my roomate’s my computer, and I just plug in the computer and press play. The sound guy gets confused like, “what should I do”. Just press play and I’m just gonna go.

So, do you actually use a studio to record your songs or are you more home studio kind of guy?

I go to a studio, I go to two studios, I go to Firestation Studios which is in San Marcos, Texas State, and I also go to the Yellow Dog studios which is in Austin.

Yea I’ve heard of Yellow Dog.

Yea Radiohead recorded there, Green Day recorded there, Rick Rubin, of course when I was there none of those cool guys were there, I was by myself of course. I mean I like I say I’m by myself on stage, but the only reason I get shows is cause I got a large street team. People would say it’s fan base, but I have a large a huge you know, backing that’s just down with putting new music out and spreading the word out and coming out to my shows and all that. I’m thankful.

Most definitely. You definitely got a good thing going on. You got the fan base going, and definitely naturally talented. Good at what you do, so keep doing it, keep doing what you do and you know, who knows? Is there any thought of adding other band members or do you just wanna continue doing the solo act?

Well, actually when usually, when I have my own shows I always have a back-up singer and I’ve got a, I just got a new one actually her name is Anna Ochoa. I have a guitarist, Kyle Nathan, he’s also on the mixtape, on the VodkaWater Mixtape. On Track 11: Whiskey Life. So is my other back-up singer, Jordan Leigh. But I’m actually really into having live inst - Renegade Radio

"“Rising Rock” at Hard Rock Cafe"

With roots in Montreal and Dallas, Austin-based hip-hop purveyor David Shabani is a rhythmic storyteller with a penchant for rapping about alcoholic beverages as evidenced by songs from his Reverb Nation page including “Drunk Lover,” “Drinkin All Alone” and “Vodka Water.” - Jim Beal Jr.

"David Shabani - Drinkin All ALone + Drunk Lover"

It seems everyday I come across an artist from Austin or Texas in general that I've never heard of...I guess thats the point of the running the blog huh? Well today was no different, I just got hip to David Shabani who is from Dallas by way of Montreal, and now resides in Austin, TX. He drops two new tracks off his upcoming "Vodka Water" project. Check for "Drunk Lover" below. - Fresh Prince of ATX

"David Shabani - I Am America"

After making his way from Montreal to Dallas, David Shabani now finds himself in Austin, so it’s only right that we feature his music on theSUPERLATIVE. Seeing as the artist seems to be a frequent traveler, he has released the track fittingly titled “I Am America”. With Johnny Juliano taking the production credit, Shabani spits conscious lyrics over the sample-heavy instrumental. There’s no word yet on whether this will appear on any future mixtapes or albums from the artist, so until then, check out this single and stay tuned for more. - Mr. SUPERLATIVE


Still working on that hot first release.



David Shabani, from Dallas by way of Montreal, Canada, is a progressive hip-hop artist in the Austin, Texas social scene.  He has performed at over 50 venues in the state, including the 2014 ESPN X Games in Austin, TX, alongside Mac Miller, Pretty Lights, and Kanye West. In an area where the music culture is expansive and rapidly accelerating, Shabani’s sound keeps pace by blending compellingly personal lyrics with high-energy backbeats that combine to work double time. The result is a product that dually satisfies the late night thrill seeker with stimulating, club pounding rhythms while still providing the idle listener with lyrics that flow in a story-like format.

Shabani’s latest releases include an EP, entitled Cold Showers, and his new mixtape, Drinking Games. While Shabani’s 2012 mixtape Vodka Water is singularly devoted to portraying what he calls “the average college nightlife,” Drinking Games uses the same theme as a vehicle to delve into Shabani’s more complex problems. The Cold Showers EP serves as, in the artist’s words, “a float between the two.”

Drinking Games is a progression for Shabani, with more to offer in terms of both music and content.  He is notably growing from a musician who’s seeking an audience to an artist who has found and is speaking to one. Free-flowing rap verses take the forefront to catchy choruses on this tape, and address loaded topics such as the hierarchy of class, racial identity, and an absentee father. With a variety of new instrumental tactics and lyrical metaphors, Drinking Games is like an older sibling to Vodka Water; the new tape has a solid vein of consistency, but a touch more maturity and depth. The new addition effectively expands Shabani’s outreach to include anyone who is self-made, has overcome struggle, or is working to rise to a better future. Drinking Games, and the Cold Showers EP are both available on iTunes and Spotify as of June 2014.

Band Members