These are the transcripts of an interview with Pip Skid. The interview was conducted by Neoteric, late 2001.
MVRemix: Pip Skid. The enigma. Gimme the who/what/where/why/how story…
I am the lonely ugly kid that no one would talk to if I didn't rap. The only valuable things I own are records and cd's, yet I own no CD player or turntable. I once saw Bobby Brown on Arsenio Hall and told my mom "That's what I wanna do mom". I find life to be very difficult at times. One of the most incredible songs ive ever heard is Geto Boys "Fuck Em". The man who instantly made me a hip-hop believer with the song "Bad" is now a movie star fuckface that needs to chill on making rap records or get his sunglasses slapped off his nose. I'm getting closer to 27 and am starting to feel my age, how I do this I don't know. I never examined the how other than to keep practicing it. I am a riddle that can never safely been solved. Some people would think I think too much but I actually rarely think.... it's just no longer safe to do so. Hip-hop music is the most ridiculous and most amazing sound I've ever come across. The last 4 used CD's i bought were.....Mystikal, Jay-Z, Beatnuts and MOP.The new E 40 is next up to bat. I'm on the search for old tapes all the time. Today i got Del-i wish, brand new for 1.99 still in the shrink-wrap. I used to take my tapes in to the pawnshop when I needed money and go get haircuts with peace symbols shaved into the back. Any regrets? Only over the tapes. I'm sick of being broke and its a stressful way to live. Beer has been a considerate partner. I never finished high school, it took a lot out of me. I found the process too difficult to function in, and I can't believe people wanna hear what i have to say. It baffles me over and over. Rap has been one of the few things that have saved my life; the enigma has eluded me again.
MVRemix: Growing up in Brandon, it must have been hard to get a hold of new music. How did you deal with the limited supply of hip hop and lack of press coverage?
Growing up in Brandon, Manitoba was bad as far as being into hip hop, but in some ways I think its why we (Farm Fresh) came out so original. We had to figure it all out ourselves, but well before Farm Fresh I was a outcast with my polka dot button up shirts, African medallion, funny hair cuts, roger rabbit dance moves, and all the other influence I was incorporating into my life. I was close to the only hip-hop lover in the town/city when I was first hooked. Finding tapes was a task, plus i never had $$ to get the shit. I ended up stealing alot of shit. A&E records was the main spot at first, I got BDP, Al B Sure, Eric B & Rakim, New Edition, Marley Marl, and Rodney Dangerfeild there, among many others. Then, this tiny country music store started selling rap tapes, the harder to get shit like Gangstarr, X-clan, Raheem, 3rd Bass,Chubb Rock, Nice and Smooth etc. He had 12"s too and Casingles, his store was the shit. Once my step-dad gave me $ to buy my Grandma a birthday present and I went there to get Boo Ya Tribe. RIP Grandma. After I got all the hip-hop tapes in the city that's when I started to pick up on r&b. I was laughed at by so many people. The only other 2 kids who I found into hip-hop were dickheads so I was on a solo tip for what seemed like a long time. Back when everyone hated rap it had bad distro. Arsenio Hall was a blessing to hip-hop with all his guests, like fuck, what talk show host is gonna sit down with Kool Moe Dee and chat on national TV? We didn't have cable for a long time and so when Soul in the City played rap vids I would listen to the fuzzy radio pick up of it hoping for a rap song. I only ever saw one live rap show before doing my own, because i liked hip-hop and was such a freak i was shit on. When I met Hunnicutt he was into PE and Beastie Boys and such. mcenroe hated rap. After they got on the rap rules boat it was a lot easier, having a support system of sorts. Brandon had no hip-hop scene until we did our thing, now there are groups there and dudes doing shit. One guy sold a tec12 to a friend of mine and then stole it back right away. A couple days later he was clobbered from behind by a vigilante customer while trying to rob a restaraunt. I don't miss much about Brandon, but I kinda did prefer when everyone hated rap.
MVRemix: Recent polls suggest the majority of Canadian's are for the legalization of marijuana. What do you have to say to that?
I'm fully against legalizing weed. I think weed is great, I've used it for years and it's a great black-market way for people to get paid and legalization would take that away. I can get beautiful weed from someone I know, grown by a friend of his organically outside. Legalization would fuck that over, the govt would take control like they do with cigarettes, chemicals, and Jean Chretien getting paid from it, and brand names would dominate. Fuck that! Growing and selling would carry even heavier fines because you'd be eating directly into govt cash. As a medicine it should welcomed and used without fine, but regardless of my ideas it's absurd that it is illegal, its a fuckin plant! how can you make an animal or plant illegal. That shows how disgusting humans are.
MVRemix: Who are you checkin' for nowadays, musically...
I'm feeling Mash Out Possy , John Smith, Art Blakey, Bruce Springsteen, Quasimoto, Scarface, mcenroe, Neptunes,Chillin Villian Empire, Nick Drake, Bud Powell, Epic, the coup, Spoonie g, Gruf tha Druid, Nate Dogg, Kalib Simmons, Neil Young, Your Brother In My Back Pack, Taichichi,Gordski, Dark Sun Riders*, Blackalicous, Vixen, Sade..Sade..Sade..and more Sade.
MVRemix: Are there any artists you would refuse to work with on principle? If so, why.
Well some people I just wouldn't work with because of the music they were making not being what I'm into. I used to want to do songs with this person and that person but I gave that up. I'm not gonna work with someone just because they're dope. I'm more interested in working with people because they're fun to be around and work with, and we vibe well. Music is an art and why would you make art with someone you hate? I heard a story (may be false?) about Del coming to record with Swollen Members and being a total prick. If he came up to record (I would never pay people I didn't know to come through) and was a dink...why would you wanna do a song with him?, and if someone said we want you to do a Sprite commercial with Spoonie G over a Mannie Fresh beat I'd say no. I'd hurt but I ain't goin out like that, I prefer to work with my friends and people that I know.
MVRemix: What is the craziest hip hop related memory that you have?
It would have to be when I first heard LL Cool J kicking it. I was in a hockey dressing room after a game and nobody had any tapes except this Trevor guy who's parents always went to the states, so the team let him put it in and it was "Bigger and Deffer." "I'll squash you like a jellybean I'm bad", that completely blew me away. I stood with my jaw dropped as everyone complained about the shitty music. After that moment I was never the same, I sought out everything about rap and even tried to write my own. Before that day I never really found music I liked. I'd hear something here and there that was cool, but nothing really stayed with me, until that day. Other than that we have some semi-crazy show experiences, nothing like the first time though.
Sole called you "the last political rapper to give a fuck". What do you thing about that?
That comment has followed me like a floorwalker. I don't really agree and it's nice for Sole to speak highly of me but I don't agree. There are so many others that "give a fuck". If there weren't I may not still be sane...and pressure? No, not at all, I just keep on keeping on the best I can and if you start thinking about these things then they may put the heat on, so it's just the same old, only much different. On top of that Sole was probably just talking, you know, just saying shit cause he didn't know what else to say. It's not like he stood up in front of 5000 people after calling their attention and said the quote. He was asked about me and stumbled this out, that's all.
MVRemix: What was the best day of your life?
I don't really have favourites or bests of anything. That's such a hard question. My life has been overwhelmingly stressful and sad, so it should be easy to pick one but I can't. The time I've spent with my partner Big Bush has been a great time on earth and playing with Farm Fresh was unreal and the time that it was just my mom and I before my step dad came around was fantastic and that's about it. Those stick out.
MVRemix: How does Halifax compare to Manitoba?
Why compare? They're both dirty shit logs.
MVRemix: What does your mother think of your music?
My mom doesn't even listen. She barely even calls me. We get along in a odd way but she isn't into hip hop or rap at all. She's pretty hip cause she had me really young, but she's still a player hater. She used to try and convince me to stop listening to rap. When I was playing Harry Connick jr once she was like "that's more like it, finally good music". She tried to throw away my BDP-By All Means... tape after hearing "at 10 your fucked, at 9 your sucked, 8 your a sucker, 7 a motherfucker" that was too much for her, plus it was scary empowered black people with a angry voice talking to her child...what could be worse? Maybe a fatal plane crash (only if Kareem Abdul Jabar was on the flight), or the time i brought my first girlfriend home and she was native. Beyond that she isn't really supportive as far as the business goes, I think she sees it as a waste of time. She'd rather I be a professional of some kind, but when I blow up and buy her all kinds of shit so she can stop serving tables at the Chicken Chef, she may sing the different tune..mmmmmm...maybe she'll walk around whistling 'Microphone Fiend' or something. Ahh, I love her.
MVRemix: What should everyone shut up about?
How wasted they were the night before.
MVRemix: "Banned from HMV there will be no more in stores". I grabbed this from mcenroe.net. What the hell is this about?
I did a bad job of trying to steal Dead Prez, and got caught by some guy who kinda knows me from Winnipeg. It's the fourth time I've been caught, and my punishment was writing and recording a rap song about stealing (which I somehow no longer have a copy of?) It's a funny song, because it was obviously was sarcastic and mocking, but it passed. "Stealing is Bad". I'm getting too old to deal with the nerves that come anymore. Big Bush and I went dine and dashing, and I could hardly enjoy our 7 course meal in peace cause I was all nerve racked on getting nabbed. Record companies have gotten sleazy and started putting the magnetic code right inside the CD under the tray rack. Buncha fuckers.
MVRemix: I see you have worked with the Rheostatics. How did this come about?
Well, there was this nerdy guy that worked at a record store in Brandon and had found Dave Bidini's phone # in the T-dot phone book. So, he started being a pest (we had nothing to do with his pesky harrasment) and ended up sending him one of our first tapes (as Farm Fresh). They threw it in the demo box that goes on tour with them, and somewhere along the road it got played. I suppose after 9 hours of Indy rock, it sounded pretty fresh and the 2 vans ended up fighting over it. It was getting played before shows in the venues, and we had gotten a few post cards from people that had heard it and wanted a copy. The Rheostatics came to Brandon to play, and we opened. What a show that was, the promoter jerked us so hard we still have the scars...he also didn't wear a shirt all nite. From there we hit it off, and did a bunch of shows with them, a little tour and that's that. It was funny cause Tyler and I were huge Rheo fans before all that. The Rheostatics are amazing people.... I look up to them as a long running band and admire how they have kept their dignity and edge in this sleazy music industry. They rule. Go buy their new album next month and then go get all the others.
MVRemix: Fill us in on what's droppin' in the next while, and what you're working on
Yep, the Pipi Skid/John Smith 12" comes out mid July, and the "Factory 2nds" compilation, which I'm all over, is out in the start of Aug. A 7" is due out in the fall. I have a song on the hiphopinfinity comp, along side of mcenroe feat. birdapres. I'm on Recyclones new CD, being put out on Peraluner. I'm on Bird and Gordski's album. I'm on Gruf the Druid's album coming out on P&C very soon. I'm doing an album with Gordski, slowly but surely, and in a short while I'll have my own recording device and who knows what that'll bring. Plus a lot of other shit I'm not telling you about. Ssshhhhh.
MVRemix: Any rumours to kill or last words?
Mcenroe rules. He works so hard on this rap shit. He gets my heavy-duty props. Thanks Roddy. I don't think there are any rumors about me yet. I haven't heard any...have you? I'm interested in getting this rock star thing happening soon, because I'm getting too old to start a decade of orgy's and hard drug abuse. I'd also like to really thank those who buy our shit. It really matters, thanks. I saw a used Pip Skid cd at cdplus.com the other day and the next day it was gone. They were selling it for 12 bucks. Fuck, that's what I sell it for, but that's cool, and thanks to you dog.