February 23, 2009

Pip Skid

Pip Skid
Illustration by Pearl Rachinsky
Pip Skid is a Legend. Whether it be on stage ripping mics or downing beers on the streets, you would be hard pressed to find an mc that liked rap more than Pip. It was great to catch up with Pip and pick his brain on a few things. This is what has transpired since June…

Introduce yourself, crews affiliations etc.

My name is Pip Skid… Peanuts & Corn… Break Bread… Marathon of Dope.

You were part of a mini Mayworks tour [Festival of Working People and the Arts]. How did you find yourself on that tour? What was the experience like?

This can explain some of the Mayworks nonsense. Otherwise, it was a great pay day. I don’t have too many of those these days.

What is the state of labour in Canada and more specifically the Prairies?

I think labour is backwards everywhere. In the prairies we have our farmers getting fucked over day after day. These are the people that feed us for fuck sake and they aren’t eating themselves.

In the nursing home I used to work in; every single department, including the management, are working the jobs of two people for the pay of one. This is not charity work, this is a corporation that profits off of the elderly. Labour is messed up all over the world. In order to live the lives we’ve become accustomed to, people have to suffer. In order to get our fuel and our coffee and our extreme zesty honey bbq nacho chips anytime we want… people have to suffer. That’s the system we live in and I’m as guilty as anyone else.

Did this tour spark a return to your more politically charged Fermented Reptile days?

I’ve grown a lot since Fermented Reptile. I was young and thought that the world could change. I still have strong politics, but they are reflected in a different light now — more personal and less hopeful. My music will always have that edge to it.

What is your current status on the seemingly stagnant Peanuts & Corn Label?

P&C is really dependent on mcenroe. He has been really busy as of late and so the label has been dry that way. Rod and I have talked about doing another Pip Skid record soon. Rod has always worked so hard for us and the label; I think he deserves a break from all that nonsense.Trying to do what he was doing is exhausting. So in order to put out stuff in the meantime I started Marathon of Dope with Tom De Getter and Gumshoe Strut.

Is Pip Donahue a new alter ego?

Pip Donahue is just some stupid joke that Birdapres and I had for a minute and it became a sort of alter ego thing. Maybe a name to put on shitty sounding EP’s.

You released the Pip Donahue Show EP as an internet release. How has the game changed since you first started releasing cassettes and where do you think it is going?

Things have changed a lot since the days of cassettes. The Pip Donahue EP was a test for me to see if that could work… offering a digital version only. It has its drawbacks, one being radio play. With no CD with a spine that radio DJ’s can see and hold at college stations, it kills that… but otherwise I think its the way to go.

Again, with the Marathon of Dope that was my point. I wanted to get away from CDs and offer people a place where they can come and get your music for what they think its worth. People are going to download music anyway. I’d rather they come right to me to get my shit. And then they have the choice of whether they would like to pay or not. I haven’t bought a CD in ages. I am also guilty of stealing tons of music off the internet. In the near future I’m hoping to have pin codes that our artists can sell at the merch table… they sell it for whatever they want and the customer takes the pin code home and downloads the record with it; the pin code then kills itself. The future mutherfucker.

You released a video for “Pip’s Kid”, how much did you enjoy smacking that cup out of that kids hand and mouth? Do you think you scared him for life? What was it like having him rap your lyrics back to you?

The “Pip’s Kid” video was fun to make. Jason Lapeyre is so great. The boy that plays my son was amazing. His mother played my wife and in between takes she would be like “say fuck like you mean it!” So funny. I actually felt kinda bad screaming at him, but he understands it’s acting. He loves the video. Jason and I are working some new videos as we speak.

What is next for Pip Skid?

Im gonna be focusing on Marathon of Dope and I’m working on a LP right now with Tom De Getter from Zucchini Drive called Pip and Tom. John Smith, Skratch Bastid and I are still talking about TCOB 2. Currently I’m in Halifax working with DJ Gordski and finishing up the Kutdown produced Skid Row LP. I also am hoping to make that Pip Skid solo record with mcenroe soon. Blah Blah.

You were teaching some hip hop classes in some Winnipeg Schools recently, what was that experience like?

I love teaching rap music. Its the greatest job in the world. It takes different forms… mostly younger kids learning how to write and express themselves through rap… its the best job on the planet… better than Les Stroud’s job, but less money.

Will there ever be another Farm Fresh or Fermented Reptile release, what about an album with Black & Roll?

Farm Fresh and Fermented Reptile I’m really not sure. Those were what they were because of timing and youth I think. Hard to revisit those moments and catch the essence of those groups. As far as Black N Roll… yea… but we work in such odd ways. Don’t hold your breath on that. We were suppose to do a Record called Pip Hanson & Terry Loxx – The Marathon of Dope… we ll see.

Is rap still important?

It is to me, I fuckin love rap music.

Chuck D said rap is for teenagers. Are all the people who still listen to rap as so called adults really just teenagers?

I’m a terminal teen. Like Bird said the other day after a show… look at us old guys who act like teens playing for teens that don’t care. Rap is growing up in some ways though, just not me… not fast enough anyway… ugh… I need more vitamins or some shit.

As a listener, do you get the same things out of rap today as you did in your younger days?

I dont know about the same feelings, but I still get amped and wanna throw my hands in the air and all that shit. I love listening to dope rap songs. I listen to so much rap its kinda weird. I listen to everything… certain things a lot. I love MOP and Scarface and Prodigy these days. I fuckin’ love rap so much… it literally saved my life more than once.

Will Canadian hip hop ever find an audience?

I hope so. I can see a more mainstream thing spreading, but for dudes like me I dunno, i doubt it. I’m just so tired. People like K’naan are getting some love and that’s dope.

You were just in Europe, what has that experience been like? What was your favourite show? Any plans to go back?

Europe was a trip… nice to play for a different audience. I’m going back in April for a month to tour with Zucchini Drive… looking forward to that. I also like carrying my beer around in the streets with no hassles or $300 fines.

Do you have any shout outs, stories or any parting words?

A shout out to you Chaps… and to MC Ren who is the best rapper from NWA. Thanks to those of you for listening and enjoying my music the last 15 years. I’m tired.

21 Responses

  1. A TCOB 2 would be just as legendary as an Alleged Legends 2. Would love to see that happen. I thought a second Fermented Reptile was already recorded. If so, Marathon of dope that shit.

  2. Cool interview….Pip, come back to London soon homey, I miss that gritty stage presence and farmer style nose blowing that comes along with it. word.

  3. Pip always seems so pissed off. Dude needs to lighten up a bit. TCOB2 sounds like it’s necessary more now than ever.

  4. Sometimes I worry about his sanity, but I can’t think of another dude that’s channeled anger and/or depression into rhymes that are as cathartic, confessional and humorous as his. Seeing him live never ceases to be amazing. It’s been a pleasure to help him out on the design/illustration tip.