Who: Skratch Bastid
When: Sunday, July 16
Where: Moe Joes
Halifax native Paul Murphy, alias Skratch Bastid, will have many successes to come, but perhaps none as poignant as beating out his mentor Buck 65 at the Halifax DJ Olympics at the young age of 16. Now, seven years later, the Bastid is putting out a different beat with Buck 65, a collaborative one: Buck 65 will rap on a new album with Murphy currently in the works.
"It was one of my first big things as an upcoming DJ: winning against my mentor," Murphy said of the long-ago competition. "I grew up listening to Buck's radio show and I learned a lot from him. He was also a competitive DJ on the scene . We (did a) Halifax radio show together. He's an old friend. We should have always been doing this."
Buck will provide the rap and Murphy the beats and of course legendary scratches that gave him his name - veteran turntablists would show a then-young Murphy a scratch technique and a day later, Murphy would have mastered and often exceeded it, leading to sighs of "that little Bastid".
While Murphy is one of Canada's top battling DJs and professes his heart lies with playing parties and hip hop shows (including the likes of Del Tha Funky Homosapien and Jedi Mind), Murphy's aspirations are leading him down the producing/recording road.
"I decided to get into making music," said the owner of the independent label First Things First Records. "It is a lot fun and that is where I see my career going: producing records."
Murphy's most recent recordings include the critically-acclaimed mix Better Ask Somebody and the Take Care of Business album, featuring Winnipeg MCs John Smith and Pip Skid for Vancouver's Peanuts and Corn Records.
While the Buck project is only in demo stage, Murphy has his sites set on a bigger label for the album than his own.
"It could be a major label like Warner," he said. "We are not sure where it is going to go just yet. Let's just say I'll hold my breath on that one."
While he is waiting, the now Montreal resident is always on the go with regular shows in the Maritimes every two months, residencies in Montreal, short tours such as the seven-date Alberta/B.C. one he is currently running and DJ battles in both Canada and the U.S.
Murphy was disappointed when the Montreal leg of the DMC competition was cancelled this month. Placing second over the past two years, he was ready to compete for the number-one finish.
Murphy competes in his third Scribble Jam in Cincinnati this year. He won the 2003 and 2004 competition. Disqualified in last year's competition, he returns with a vengeance to reclaim his title.
"You can't make a living off a six-minute, hyper-competitive routine, but it's a great place to start: you get your first nerves out there, your first jitters," he said.
With more than eight years of experience, jitters remain on his hopping dance floors. Tickets are $7.