Spring Up for the Summer


You see, fashion’s just a flash in the pan.
What’s classic stays classic ’till it’s fashioned again.
So I’d rather be the baddest with a pad and a pen,
Than just hot for a minute off some fad or a trend.
That’s the definition of classic. Shad with a gem.
Still bright when the lights, or the cameras are dim.
-Shad “Classic”


For many people the summer is starting to wind down and thoughts of staying cool and sitting by fans are turning into back to school and working for the man. Ok, maybe not that many people, but definitely us teacher types and parents. Mother nature will tell you we still got a few more months of summer which means plenty of time to enjoy what I feel is the best summer project I’ve heard this side of spring. So, fall back, lounge in your summer gear and check out The Spring Up.

This project is sooooo dope and very appropriate and necessary for the summer season. You can stream and then cop it below.

Before I get into a track by track breakdown let me introduce you to the players. First up to bat we got the man behind the boards and the ones and twos. I’m talking about your favorite DJ’s favorite DJ, Skratch Bastid. If you’re into cuts and scratches, you probably already know. If not, check the resume. Impressive. I mean, when you’ve got a co-sign from DJ Jazzy Jeff, you need no introduction. Check it…

You can check out some of his latest mixes and cuts on his SoundCloud page by clicking HERE. Some AMAZING mixes on his page. My favorites are The Entertainer (gets some props from Russell Peters on this one), The Bob Marley/War mashup, The Wale and Lady Gaga joint (seriously), Soul Sisters Stand Up! and…look, just spend some time on his SoundCloud page and you’ll see what’s what.

Handeling the mic duties for this project is the impressive emcee and wordsmith, Shad. This dude’s made his rounds and held his ground on his native Canadian soil and has started to find a larger fan base here in the States. I first heard him on his Old Prince Still Lives at Home joint. It’s great but gets upped a few notches for the video that older heads like myself are sure to appreciate. Check it out…

This guy impresses me. He’s smart, witty and has a way with words that many MC’s should take note of. Although, I haven’t actually heard a full length effort from him. Everything I’ve heard has been single tracks floating around the web. Until now. These two Canucks have really outdone themselves on this collaborative EP that kinda caught me off guard. I highly recommend this and here’s my breakdown of this 16 minute 5 track gift that they’ve put together for you and me.

The first track, Classic, hits you hard and makes you wanna duck for cover (maybe it’s just the air raid horns that it opens up with). And straight off the bat you get the fresh cuts, like back to school, that let you know what you’re in for (I’m such a sucker for that kinda scratching). Finally, Shad comes in with “Already classic and it hasn’t even happened yet.” Umm, yeah. Love the references and metaphors. It’s stuff like this that get me super hype and remind me why all elements within Hip Hop are relevant.

The second joint, Outta My Head, is more laid back with that familiar sample that conjures up good feelings and memories. Shad’s dope. He’s a thinker, positive, not pessimistic, sharing thoughts without coming across as more knowledgeable than you. I’m feeling lines like…

And I’m glad to be alive.
Glad to see the sky. The sun, I see it rise.
The love I keep inside Is why I need to rhyme.
I need to breathe a sigh, And let it out.

Clappin is probably the best 1:55 of straight beat and rhymes that you’ve heard in a good decade. Again, with the familiar samples and extremely high temperatures on the mic.

Ooh wee, by the time the beat drops on Homie I’m doing some semi-dangerous head nodding. This one right here is my summertime jam for 2013. I’m claiming this one. Shad and Cadence Weapon each get down and go for theirs. Skratch Bastid makes it almost too easy with the beat, though. You might be happy enough with an instrumental version of this one but the MC’s turn it up from Beware to Extreme Danger. Hotness.

The final track, Peace, brings us back to reality and is a little more serious in terms of lyrical content. It’s a simple boom/boom/bip/ba-boom boom/bip beat under some melancholy nuances. You know those songs that make you wanna stop and really try to hear what MC is saying? That’s this. Plus it ends with a speech about hope and the power of hope. An excellent way to wrap up a project like this.

This is probably the best EP I’ve heard this year. You won’t regret this purchase so support dope shit and give these dudes a good listen. You can cop this HERE and the cool thing is you pay what you want. Pay them what you think it’s worth or if the pocketbook is looking like an empty bag of mixed nuts, then at least slide them a few bucks for all their hard work.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with all things Shad (including videos and tour dates) by checking out his site. And you can find Skratch Bastid’s site HERE. Enjoy!

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