Since being described by Complex as Trap’s Newest Star, the buzz surrounding Toronto’s Shah has spread beyond Atlanta, where his career was launched by institutions like Magic City. Shah’s most powerful terrestrial growth has been in the South, beginning in Miami, where Shah was introduced by his DJ Swamp Izzo, Cash Money Records’ official DJ. In December during Art Basel, Shah was regarded as one of the most influential rappers of Miami Art Week. Shah’s southern domain also grew in Texas. A year after being described as one of 2018’s most promising independent rappers, Shah’s official SXSW debut provided one of SXSW 2019’s most memorable rap moments.
During this Austin performance, Shah debuted his newest release Poison, recorded at the Spotify Secret Genius Studio in Atlanta. Poison showcases Shah’s most vulnerable lyricism to date, exploring how he copes with the threats he’s faced from the Trump administration since his repeated unlawful federal detainments, which is actually what first led him to Atlanta. Poison also touches on the sanctuary Atlanta provided Shah in contrast to the risk he faced when travelling throughout much of the country.
Shah is just the newest member of the guild of Atlanta rappers - which includes Gucci, Future, and Migos - to be propelled to local stardom by Magic City and regional stardom by Swamp Izzo. Shah’s regional presence is driving his national growth in 2019, and follows the trail blazed by Atlanta rap legends. However, Shah’s movement is also expanding in a way that hasn’t previously been seen in rap: his rapidly growing fanbase in South Asia. Despite never having performed there, his growing Indian stardom marks another new 2019 development for Shah. Shah’s foreign influence can also be felt in Europe, where his first international tour took place this spring.