Bastard's Business
mix cd includes: pete rock & cl smooth, edan, biz markie, roots manuva, mop, de la soul, freestyle fellowship, others.
year of release: 2003
 
Ok. Here's what we're going to do: This CD is made up of distinct parts, so I'm going to break this review down into corresponding sections, and we'll see what we come up with.
First up, we've got "Bastard's Business" which isn't so much a mix as a showcase of what this here Bastard (of the 1200 Hobos) can do. Scratching-wise, it's pretty tight, and even on the first instrumental (M.O.P's "Ante Up"), the Bastard shows that he can ride either on or off the rhythm with a certain level of flair and style. On the beat-juggling tip, the results are less impressive; there are clearly some very fast hands at work here, but while some juggles are inventive and on point, others lose rhythm (and seemingly intention sometimes) and end up sounding rough. True, the roughness offers them a certain 'live' charm, but without the live atmosphere, they simply come across as clumsy.

 
tracklisting
1. Bastard's Business
2. Mix 1
3. Kaleb & Bast
4. Orakull Freestyle
5. Mix 2
"Mix 1" does exactly what it says on the tin; a 25-minute long mix of well selected tracks which are raucous enough to get you going, but are not just throwaway party rap. Skratch Bastard flawlessly mixes his way through Pete Rock and C.L Smooth, Edan, Biz Markie, Roots Manuva and Chali 2na (props for representing the English tip), and a handful of other artists on this, the first of the CD's two mixes, to good overall effect.
"Kaleb & Bast" and "Orakull Freestyle" fill up space before the Bastard's second go on the mix, and while the former is pretty good in its own right, the second is strictly filler material. "Kaleb & Bast" features a very competent beatbox (presumably by Kaleb) of changing beats, bassline, occasional vocal turns, and other effects such as wah-wah guitar, in accompaniment to Skratch Bastard's own rhythm dictating scratching. It loses impact a little as it progresses, but basically this is three minutes of good listening. The "Orakull Freestyle" on the other hand, fails to make an impact. It's not that the flow, or the voice, or the lyrics are that bad, it's just that none of them are that good, and the combination of all three has you reaching for the skip button soon enough.
And then we're back to business with "Mix 2", which picks up on the same themes as the first; good, head-nodding rap from varying camps such as M.O.P, De La Soul, Freestyle Fellowship, etc. Skratch Bastard is clearly a talented DJ - he fulfils the requirements of seamless mixing skills, good track selection, and an ear for beats that flow into one another. The ability to scratch that his name suggests is also represented well on this album, and you at least get the feeling that his understanding of beats, time-signatures and rhythms allows him to be proficient at beat-juggling, even if this CD doesn't present him at his best.
So what have we come up with? A pretty good mix CD, which does have it's high and low points, but overall suggests that Skratch Bastard is pretty good at his business.
review: cornerstone
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