Skipp Whitman
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Skipp Whitman

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Hip Hop Alternative




"Skipp Whitman Whitman Cant Jump"

heck out MA rapper Skipp Whitman‘s new album Whitman Cant Jump. The album showcases Whitman’s skills in their entirety as everything has been taken care of by the man himself. The album has been written, composed, produced and mixed by Skipp Whitman. The biographical album tells the tale of Skipp’s journey from childhood up.

“Whitman Cant Jump is a look back at growing up. A recall of the things I ran into on the way to now. The crazy thing is, Niles Mason, who sang on the song ‘Grown Up, I literally was in dance contests with at 12. Full circle.” – Whitman - Raw Roots UK

"Skipp Whitman Whitman Cant Jump"

Skipp Whitman is an emcee raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, who spent the last five years in New York. This past year, he set sail for Los Angeles before the release of this album. He first came to our attention here at Scratched Vinyl with his excellent third album, 5AM, released in 2012. Now he’s back with number four, and he’s ready to start a new chapter in his life.

The main difference between 5AM and Whitman Can’t Jump comes from the production side of things. While his last album focused more on synthesizer and drum machine, WCJ brings in a lot of live bass and piano, giving the album a soulful gospel/R&B vibe, with a touch of boom bap. It’s an incredibly warm and inviting sound, and it really fits Whitman’s thoughtful and honest lyrics. The album is largely autobiographical, with Whitman opening up and discussing his childhood, high school, and the struggles and successes that have lead him to this particular point in his life. Whitman has a really clear and straightforward delivery that really adds a weight to his stories, as it often feels like he's talking directly to you. He possesses a dry, sarcastic sense of humor that sneaks into his lyrics, but he also has a lot of optimism to his outlook. This all helps digest Whitman’s stories, as he never dwells in his setbacks and asks you to feel sorry for him. Instead, he’s able to look back at bad decisions that he or others have made, laugh at the ridiculous parts, learn from the hard parts, and move on. It’s an outlook I can really get behind and relate to, so perhaps that’s why this album struck a chord with me the first time I listened to it. There aren’t a lot of big hooks on the album, but Whitman does have a good ear for melody, providing subtle movement through his songs and providing good song structure around his storytelling. One of my particular favorite tracks on the album is “Lost,” a meditation on how to make peace with those from your past that you don’t have ill will towards, but you no longer share the connection you once had in your youth.

Whitman isn’t the type to blow you away with one song, but he will grow on you if you give him the chance. Whitman Can’t Jump is some of the most honest and soulful hip hop you’ll hear this year. - Scratched Vinyl

"Skipp Whitman"

Skipp Whitman is a unique artist as he seems to turn negative energy, and thoughts into positive ones. Just take a look at the world. Is it really working? Is it a nice place? Not with all of the conflicts going on! But despite that Skipp comes up trumps with his thirteen songs on his album Whitman Can’t Jump.

The main theme through most of the tracks on Whitman Can’t Jump is that life is a real bitch. You follow your passion, music. Then the World Wide Web or the Internet as we know it today comes around, and some acne fresh high school nerd ends-up on top of the world by understanding a few clicks of the mouse, but for folks pre-Internet real work was required!

The sub-themes are the women, partying and generally having a ball in his youthful days. Skipp has a distinctive voice amongst his flavour of hip-hop, which seems to have a classical sound now - that is ear-candy and easily acceptable to the listener.

The beginning of the album Intro is a playful song with Skipp rappin’ about those days of youth, which runs through the song Whitman Can’t Jump, Grown Up (feat. Niles Mason) and while Times Running Out is similar it has a xylophone riff running throughout the song - something different and unique.

Scenes (Home) has a ‘80’s keyboard intro, with modern beats, and some choir sounds to hit in the choruses. The theme is ‘why not me’ written all over it, but if success isn’t available in youth it could-be better when your older, wiser and hopefully with more sensibility, but this is explored in All Good. Gone is blending orchestra chamber music with other instruments like guitar and a loose non-hip-hop loop, that works with the rappin’ of the lyrics.

Getting heavier and edgier in Hi School (feat. Statik Selektah), has great scratchin’ throughout this song of what schooling was all about, or what the fantasy should have been; and this cutting-edge and fusing other genres is thrown in the reggae fuelled John Cusak.

Getting a rock angle into Skipp’s songs is perfectly executed in Game, which focuses on weakness that we know, don’t know or don’t want to admit to, ouch!

Lost is very atmospheric, with synthesizer montages placed over this track, while the beat is pulsating like a heartbeat of past triumphs in living life.

My Last Song which Skipp makes perfectly clear isn’t, though it’s more like an anthem of not going away or quitting, whether you appreciate his music, and rhymes in his lyrics or not. We’re behind you Skipp is something you imagine on the streets whether shouting-out or just mumbling in conversation.

Out is the finale, and is a hard-hitting tune dedicated to past friends, and making it as real to the hip-hop community that the turf is up for grabs!

Whitman Can’t Jump is available @ iTunes. - Clown Magazine UK

"Skipp Whitman 5AM"

Since the first rappers entered a recording studio, hip-hop has been a success story, one often told first-hand by the artists themselves. Rappers soon learned that their stories became more interesting when they related not only the success but also the struggle that comes before it. Even the highly talented but for whatever reason relatively unsuccessful ones began to translate their fate as starving artists into engaging tales.

Lately, however, it's all gotten a bit too much, with every other up-and-comer pestering the world about how badly he wants rap success. Skipp Whitman too ponders "how to make a living only from makin' songs," but he does it with so much feeling and flair that it's impossible to lump him with all these kids expecting fame to be handed to them on a silver platter, not with inspiring lines like "A pipe dream is keepin' me up so I may as well / hop to it - and maybe we sell."

It helps that musically "5AM" is absolutely up to date, Whitman infusing his tracks with pop and electronica influences and not shying away from singing hooks. With a relaxed tone and delivery somewhere between Defari and Wiz Khalifa, he contemplates his situation over studied, solemn compositions, substituting fabricated rap swag with genuine hip-hop attitude ("I arm myself with a force field / It feels natural, while MC's got that forced feel"). He touches on topics that should be familiar to anybody pursuing a long-term goal: paying bills, maintaining relationships, handling criticism, being creative, overcoming stereotypes. Although he focuses almost exclusively on himself, he does widen the scope on "Dreams," where he involves listeners who fight a similar uphill battle:

"Long nights, late sessions
Big dreams of - I give you 3 guesses
But you probably only need one...
I'm on the train with my iPod on
And everyone's in my video, look at 'em yawn
You're probably goin' to work thinkin' about gettin' off
This is dedicated to sittin' around actin' like you're doin' your job
But when the paycheck finally comes you feel like you been robbed
This is dedicated to the burners, the all-night servers
the night-class-tryina-get-a-better-job learners
the long-ass-day-minimum-wage earners
the All-Star Scholarship-gettin'-further
This is dedicated to all the burglars
the in-the-corner earners
the out-of-order jurors
jewelry sellers cuttin' them diamonds up before the purchase
the recently-out-of-service
the home-now-the-still-fightin' - we all workers"

Despite the entire album revolving around the same subject, some songs stand out for their structure. "I Won't Change" connects his current mindstate with his teenage years, "When I Let Go" stresses the importance of an open mind when creating and performing, "It Sucks Being Broke" ends each verse on a lighter punchline note ("I'm tryina eat better but do you have any idea how rich you gotta be to be a vegan and shit?"), while the "Lose Yourself"-inspired "Spend it All" serves as a metaphor for taking risks. An interesting feature is that he also takes hypothethical looks back from the finish line ("Her," "Outro"). But nowhere do Skipp Whitman's dedication and desires converge more beautifully than on "The Upgrade," an uplifting duet with singer Louie Bello reminiscent of Toussaint Morrison that cries out for single status.

As a snapshot of Skipp Whitman's momentary situation, "5AM" is a musically classy, lyrically honest portrait of the struggling artist. The next time around, however, he is advised to channel his well-rounded craftmanship into songs that discuss other things than his career. -

"Skipp Whitman 5AM"

Skipp Whitmann is an emcee and producer from Brooklyn via Brookline, MA. 5AM marks his third solo album, and it’s certainly his strongest yet, hitting on every angle.

Whitman has a deliberate delivery with a great mix of sarcastic humor and cutting emotional depth and brutal honesty that reminds me a great deal of D-Sisive. He produced the entire album himself as well, and his style is synth and drum machine driven. At times it can sound like some minimalist early ‘80s synth pop (see “When I Let Go”), but it can also sound warm and soulful (see “Stevie Wonder”). Nowhere do the styles come together better than on the breakout single of the album, “It Sucks Being Broke.” It opens with a staccato synth string sound that could easily have been lifted from an INXS song, only to kick into a classic boom bap beat with a warm string sounds playing in the background as Whitman drops a playful flow that both invokes the painful struggle of trying to make ends meet and reaching the point where you’re laughing to keep from crying. While Whitman has a great overall sound, what really makes him intriguing is his ability to draw you in with his lyrics. He’s incredibly open and honest in songs, ranging from the blues of “Broke” to the hopes and aspirations that accompany the grind of “Dreams” to complex look at a relationship in “Her.” It seems so simple when you’re typing it out, but listening to an album like 5AM makes you realize how many emcees aren’t willing to take the risk to be this honest with themselves and their listeners. It takes a great amount of vulnerability to put it all out there on a record, but it can also result in those special records that isn’t just fun, but really takes you on a journey of introspection. The album could have been just a little stronger with the omission of “LA in the Rain,” the only part of the album that doesn't quite work. It’s just a little plodding for my taste, and I feel like it makes the album drag a little in the beginning, especially knowing that “It Sucks Being Broke” is coming up next.

5AM is definitely one of my favorite discoveries in 2012. It’s worked it’s way into a pretty heavy rotation recently, and I’ve yet to grow tired of it. Whitman is an artist that you’re going to want to keep an eye on. - Scratched Vinyl


Still working on that hot first release.



Influenced by Tribe Called Quest, and Buena Vista Social Club, and Electric Light Orchestra, and Jay Z, and Chicago. Skipp Whitman is currently in Los Angeles, working on his 4th studio album (to be titled). Previous releases include ‘Skipp City’ (featuring the single ‘FAMOUS’ with video directed by John Colombo, which reached #2 on national college rap charts), ‘5AM’ (featuring ‘It Sucks Being Broke,’ with video directed by Shawn Ashley Collins which is featured on MTV.COM), and ‘Whitman Can’t Jump,’ which has appearances by Niles Mason (AfroJack, David Guetta) and Statik Selektah.

Since releasing his first project, Skipp has shared stages with Kanye West, KRS ONE, Guru, Talib Kweli, Kool G Rap, Cassidy, and many more in cities from Boston to New York to Montreal to Los Angeles (headlining The Whiskey). He was a top 10 national finalist in Scion’s ‘The Prospect’ competition, and OkayPlayer was quoted when referring to Skipp as saying ‘The Kid Can Rap.’

Skipp started writing lyrics at the age of 12. First, copying lyrics down from Illmatic, and Low End Theory. Soon, developing his own style .. and later recording. Skipp remembers “in high school, when all of my friends went to play sports, and I went home, I had a lot of time alone with a Gemini sampler and a notepad. After doing it every day for so long .. you just naturally begin to get good at it.” Initially just a lyricist, when no outside production caught his hear, he learned how to make beats and produces all of his own work to this day. In 2012, he ditched his sampler, and learned keys and bass to produce ‘5AM.’

Originally from Brookline, MA, Skipp was raised by two artist parents (painter, musician), and interned at his father’s studio on Newbury st. A studio formerly owned by The Cars called ‘Syncro Sound.’ Skipp recounts, "I never thought that doing music for a living was out of reach, because as an intern I saw it every day. It's what I was around." 

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