sweet as the scratch


Pimp, by Iceberg Slim

The title of this website is taken from Iceberg Slim's Pimp: The Story of My Life (1967). In the novel, Slim reflects on the best advice ever given to him on how to survive in the criminal underworld: "So Slim, be as sweet as the scratch, and no sweeter."

Scratch is money, but it is also the medium through which Slim experiences the world. Being sweet as the scratch means negotiating life and the often cruel conditions of reality.

Pimp and its concept of scratch have impacted music in both direct and indirect ways. Directly, Slim's world is a kind of blueprint for hip hop culture: its styles, language, economy, fashion, urbanism, even its foundational sound, "scratching" the record, can all be traced back to Pimp. Indirectly, the novel is symbolic of the resiliance and adaptability of hip hop culture. Hip hop's sounds, culture, and artists are always transforming and being transformed by broader society; they adapt to technology, developments in global communication, and reconfigurations of U.S-led global capital. They innovate and transform reality.


The sweet as the scratch podcast is a bi-weekly podcast that features selections by bert and torp. We peruse the vast expanses of new music online to bring eight tracks that were released within the last two weeks, and two throwbacks that are essential listening, so every episode will deliver fresh music. Songs range from ones that immediately catch fire on the web to obscure releases from across the world.


Every once and a while, bert or torp upload a writeup and playlist related to a specific project we've been working on. We write about regional sounds and the social, cultural and material conditions connected to them.

About us

orange cat sweet as the scratch is a media collective featuring two full-time podcasters/bloggers, as well as occasional entries from friends and fam. The two regular contributors are bert and peaches, based in Chicago and Los Angeles. Follow us on facebook, youtube, soundcloud, spotify, and stitcher, and email about collaborations at sweetasthescratch@gmail.com

Copyright Disclaimer: Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use. AKA: fym