Shad and Skratch Bastid – The Spring Up


It’s a tad perturbing that the most exciting Canadian rap release of the year so far is a free 16-minute album. But hey we’ll take it. The Spring Up which brought together Vancouver’s Shad and Halifax’s Skratch Bastid for some coast-to-coast magic in a Toronto studio is a truly tremendous collaborative effort. It’s hella short but packed with goodies including a verse by Montreal’s Cadence Weapon on “Homie” (can we please get a combined EP with Shad and Rollie already?) and a co-produce from DJ Jazzy Jeff on “Classic.”

The Bastid more than delivers on his end of the deal — he created five beautifully crafted beats often completed with his trademark scratching (the minute-long outro on “Outta My Head” is fantastic). “Classic” combines trumpet blasts bass drums and a weird siren in the hook. “Homie” features a horn-anchored Old Prince -inspired beat. And then there’s “Peace” — an amalgamation of minimalist drums synths and a quick keyboard riff.

Flying Colours Shad’s upcoming full-length (apparently featuring some more production from Skratch Bastid) is one of the most anticipated Canadian hip-hop records ever. Until then The Spring Up will more than satisfy.