Gain more insight into significant hip-hop figures by checking out their revealing answers to our questionnaire.
Toronto-via-Halifax’s Skratch Bastid is one of the world’s most renowned turntablists because he’s fearless and fun. With his eclectic musical flavours, he will rock your party and melt your mind, all at the same time. Right now, he’s super stoked about bringing a brand new show to the people, called Skratch of all Trades.
“There are many different sides to Skratch Bastid,” he explains, third-person style. “From party rocking and video DJing to scratching and production/remixing, I dabble in many roles as a performer. Instead of doing different shows to focus on specific aspects of what I do, I've created an event that will showcase all things 'Bastid' in one place, with a show that fuses together everything that I do: Skratch of all Trades.”
The Bastid brings this spectacle to Toronto’s Revival on April 27, Vancouver’s Fortune Sound Club on May 4 and the Palace in Halifax on May 11. As expected, Skratch Bastid went all out answering our questionnaire.
What was the first hip-hop record you ever bought and where'd you get it?
The first hip-hop 12" I ever bought was at a used record store in Bedford, N.S., called Select Sounds. I grew up in the cassette and CD era, and when I first got into hip-hop, I actually had no idea they still made new vinyl. My first cassette was unfortunately a Shaquille O'Neal cassette single, but hey, we've all got to start somewhere. In retrospect, I suppose that if I liked that song there was nowhere to go but up. My best friend and I were soon hooked on rap and would buy a few new albums every week, along with scouring the used stores for any older albums we had missed. As we dug through Select, we stumbled upon some vinyl that actually had rap artists on it. It turned out that some of the DJs from Halifax would dump their unwanted 12" promos there and that's where I came across my slightly unceremonious first hip-hop record: 8 Ball & MJG's "Listen To Me Now" b/w Money Boss Players "Games" from the America is Dying Slowly AIDS awareness hip-hop compilation. Not a classic, but a good record nonetheless, and one that triggered an interest still running strong today, some 15,000 odd records later.
Where did the name that you perform under come from exactly?
"Skratch Bastid" was given to my by a man of many aliases himself, PRSNGRDE, a.k.a. Sixtoo, who was one of my early DJ mentors. At the time that I met him, I didn't have a solid DJ name (I was recovering from early names "DJ Smurf" and "DJ Stimulus") and was just a young lad named Paul who was hanging out and learning. He gave me a slot on an internet radio station (one of the first I had ever heard about, Triple-Bypass.com) and when I checked my slot, I saw the name "Skratch Bastard." When I asked him who that was, he said "That's you!" I paused to ponder the possibility of using that name as my stage name. He continued: "You're the little bastard who keeps coming in town and out-scratching us." It stuck.
What was the last book you read and how was it?
I just finished reading the Nile Rodgers autobiography Le Freak. Nile and his partner Bernard Edwards comprised Chic and wrote many a hit in the late '70s and early '80s for Diana Ross, David Bowie, Madonna, Duran Duran and many more. His discography is one of the most impressive (if not intimidating) lists of collaborators I've ever seen, not to mention the streak of hits he had with his own group. I enjoyed Nile's honesty throughout a story filled with unbelievable circumstances on both ends of life's spectrum, and absorbed lessons on the simplicity of songwriting, and going with your gut feeling in the studio. And how not to spend seven-figure cheques.
Where is your favourite place to eat on planet Earth and what are we having?
Sushi Dai, Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo, Japan. We're having whatever the chef recommends as the best catch, and I hope he says otoro.
Which artist, living or dead, would you most like to collaborate with and why?
Andre 3000 is my favourite rapper ever and I realistically think I could collaborate with him, so here's hoping he subscribes to your RSS feed. I've always enjoyed Andre's outlook on music and creation, and most recently how he manages to stay relevant while keeping a low profile in an over-sharing world. Maybe that collaboration won't happen.
Allow me to reintroduce myself: Cadence Weapon
Shambhala Music Festival keeps it all in the family
Me Myself and YouTube: Kid Koala, A-Trak, & Killa Jewel make Montreal spin
Allow me to reintroduce myself: The Gift of Gab
Mindbender's Masters of Rhyme: Skratch Bastid
Allow me to reintroduce myself: Classified
on Apr 26, 2012