Sko-Shun Tiez Those Who Like It

Pronounced as Scotian Ties, this trio of rappers K.V., Syco and Tandra claim to be pioneers of street raps in Nova Scotia. Among the numerous verbal warnings and body bag brags are raps about weed ("Fucted Up”), big-assed girls ("Phat Back”) and hometown anthems ("Sacktown”). Sure, the subject matter has been overdone, the raps and flows are sometimes a little simple, and producers Bass Z and P-Nice rely a little too much on synthesisers and R&B hooks, but Sko-Shun Tiez have moments where the potential overcomes the generic. K.V.s "Sting” solo is a good example — a minimal track of funky drum & bass appears only during the third verse but should have replaced the heavily synthesised, cheesy beat used throughout the rest of the song. On the other hand, the gully, synthetic bass of Syco’s solo "Phat Back” makes for a dance floor groove that might be the best song on the album. It doesn’t hurt that label-mate Kaleb $immonds, best known as a Canadian Idol hopeful, assists on the hook with his unusual, soulful croon. In fact, Kaleb lends his vocals to a few other choruses, a verse on "Fucted Up,” and gets a solo with bonus track "Vibin, Ridin & Slidin.” Other highlights are Tandra’s feminist "Alleyhoop,” the paranoid "Mad Dreams,” and the catchy title track. It will be interesting to see where the Sko-Shun Tiez take it from here. (Homiez)