Pip Skid Skid Row

A load-bearing cornerstone of Peanuts & Corn, one of only a few successful indie hip-hop labels in Canada, rapper Pip Skid has a deep discography that spans his beginnings in Brandon, MB as a member of Farm Fresh through collaborations like Fermented Reptile, Hip Hop Wieners and Taking Care of Business, as well as a string of solo stops along the way. His latest is Skid Row, produced by Frek Sho alum DJ Kutdown, whose slamming drums and frequent use of guitars (check the Nirvana riff on "I Never Knew" for just one of many examples) provide Pip with the hardest musical backdrop he has yet to rock. For his part, Pip amps up his usually gruff voice and harsh delivery to match the aggressive nature of the music. Incorporating vocal snippets of improv duo Crumbs adds a little levity to the album, although their two interludes do go on a little too long, while the odd posse cut ("Back Rub Rap" with Yy and Silly Willy, and "O.C.D." with Birdapres and Moka Only) offers a braggadocio break from Pip's humorous, socially conscious lyrics ― the words of a frustrated man in a constant struggle with poverty. Skid Row verges on rap-rock sometimes, sure, but Pip Skid and Kutdown make the merger work, and hopefully Pipi will continue to explore this direction just a little bit longer. (Foultone)