Skratch Bastid, John Smith & Pip Skid
Taking Care of Business
After two mix tapes, two Scribble Jam titles and a second-place finish at the Canadian DMCs last year, Halifax-bred Skratch Bastid (AKA Paul Murphy) steps into the ring as a producer in his first original full-length, enlisting Canadian MCs Pip Skid and John Smith to throw down the rhymes. It’s apparent that this record is a Bastid brainchild from the moment the ’70s funk horn sample and turntable tricks blast from the speakers. Best of all, he’s returned to the party jam mentality of his Blazin' debut, bypassing the aggressive tendecies on the follow-up Better Ask Somebody. A lot of the lyrics centre on getting no respect in Canadian hip-hop. It’s no surprise as the three artists reside in Halifax and Winnipeg, two underrated hip-hop towns, but this repetition only drags the record down. Fortunately, Murphy’s expanding musical palette keeps it fresh and exciting as he incorporates a diverse array of genres. “Step to Getting,” helped along by Gordski, incorporates a faux choir for extra braggadocio effect. “Murphy’s Law” hands the spotlight to Bastid’s excellent scratching skills, adding a new take on his Justin Timberlake trick. Pip Skid and John Smith drop some of their best lyrics on the track, finally accepting who they are — hip-hop artists who love what they do, respect or no respect. Once again Murphy proves why he's one of the best talents in Canadian hip-hop.