Skyzoo
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Skyzoo

New York City, New York, United States

New York City, New York, United States
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"Salvation Album Review"

Brooklyn MC Skyzoo's 2009 debut, The Salvation, drops with a curse-load of hype nipping at its heels. One of the first artists inked to wunderkind producer 9th Wonder's Jamla Records, Skyzoo stoked the excitement with a heralded mixtape, Corner Store Classic, a high-concept compilation touting his attempt to forge the intersection where 21st century gangster and enlightenment rap collide. On the brilliantly simple "Penmanship" (featuring slick Black Milk production), he boasts "they say I write a little different," and like Talib Kweli, Nas, and many other N.Y.C. rappers before him, the statement is true, and also like his forebears, what makes it so is near-impossible to define; it just is. There's something perfectly unadorned about Skyzoo's rapping style, as if he's preternaturally confident in his words and has no need to create a steady character with gimmicky inflection; on "Popularity," he posits he's "one of one and ain't the type for all the repeating." That said, he's a keen mimic when he wants to be. On the aforementioned "Popularity," he playfully glides into the Clipse's phrasing, even tossing out the Virginia duo's catch phrase "What It Do." 9th Wonder pulls another rabbit-steady beat out of his hat with the smooth '70s scratchy-soul groove of "The Beautiful Decay," while Skyzoo breathes poetic-hard life into one of hip-hop's oldest stories, the sonnet to the city's urban splendor. When he goes into the standard old-school borough-by-borough (plus surrounding burgs) shout-out, the fact that we've been here before is moot, his love is positively infectious. Skyzoo's passion for his craft runs deep and, perhaps egged on by an all-star production cast eagerly supplying the freshest of beats, the soul pours out in his flow. The Salvation is no revelation by any means, nor is it apparently trying to be, but it is a satisfying debut, a solid fulfillment of the promise built up by a young lion wordsmith. ~ Jason Thurston - Billboard Magazine


"Skyzoo: The Salvation Album Review"

Over the past few years, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, MC Skyzoo has made quite a name for himself, thanks to his 2006 9th Wonder–collaborative album, Cloud 9: The 3 Day High, and well-conceived mixtapes like 2007’s Corner Store Classic. Now he finally unveils his proper debut, The Salvation, where the nimble lyricist employs metaphor-driven verses to exhibit music’s saving graces.

On “For What It’s Worth,” Skyzoo contemplates working a day job in lieu of falling for the streets’ allure, spittin’, “There’s too much money in cocaine for me to be playin’ the broke game/Or at a 9 to 5 with no-names.” Then he briefly turns to hustling on “The Necessary Evils,” before culminating his journey from the block to the top on “Maintain.” Undoubtedly, lyrics remain Sky’s calling card, but he wisely enlists a balanced set of producers, like Just Blaze (“Return of the Real”), Illmind (“Dear Whoever”) and 9th Wonder (“Under Pressure”), for the album’s standout selections.

Not every moment is praiseworthy, however. On “Easy to Fly,” he succumbs to cliché: “Let me Birkin your bag, Giuseppe your Nikes/And G4 you for the rest of your life,” while the wordy “Bottom Line” ultimately becomes indigestible. Still, overall, Skyzoo’s first official effort is a good look for fans in need of a little salvation. —JAEKI CHO - XXL Magazine


"Skyzoo & Illmind - Live From The Tapedeck (Review)"

Skyzoo, (he of the incredible debut Cloud 9: The 3 Day High with 9th Wonder) sidekicked by an equally decorated producer Illmind, who has backdropped for both the underground (Akrobatik, El Da Sensei, Boot Camp Clik, etc.) and the overground (50 Cent, Eminem, LL Cool J). The bar set for the project, sound-unheard, is therefore high, and lofty expectations are often an unfair predecessor to a listening session. The leaks “Frisbees” and “Speakers On Blast” did nothing to lower said-bar and the packaging, both literal (complete with a fantastic artwork booklet) and figurative (superb features from Rhymefest, Buckshot, Styles P., Torae & Heltah Skeltah), point to a release worthy of at least your Itunes gift card. - URB Magazine


Discography

Mixtapes

- I'm for the People
- Back for the First Time
- The Greatest Flow on Earth (2005)
- Ghetto Celebrity: The Mixtape (2005)
- The City's Favorite: The Mixtape (2005) Custom Made
- The Way You Get Down (2006) D.B.R.G./Custom Made
- Corner Store Classic (2007)
- Corner Store Classic (The Remixes) (2008)
- The Power of Words with DJ Drama and Statik Selektah (2009), Audioworx
- The Great Debater (June 2011)

Albums

- Cloud 9: The 3 Day High (with 9th Wonder) (2006)
- The Salvation (September 29, 2009)
- Live from the Tape Deck (with Illmind) (2010)

EP's

- The Strung Out Remixes (2009)

Photos

Bio

“I’m more proud just being an MC that tells the story of New York. When you heard Snoop, you knew he was from LA. When you heard Kanye, you knew he was from the Midwest. I want people to know when you hear Sky, you know he’s from New York. You can hear it in the way I rap. You can hear it in the things I talk about, the stories I tell, it’s all there.’’

– Skyzoo

It starts with the lyrics.

They’re his building blocks, his tools.

The lyrics are why NYC's leading Hip hop radio station Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg felt confident enough to put a 27-year-old, unsigned lord of the underground among Nas, Andre Benjamin, Lil’ Wayne, and Talib Kweli as the top lyricists of the present day.

They’re why he was crowned “Best Lyricist” at the Underground Music Awards.

His lyrics tell a story. The story paints a picture. The picture shows the world he knows from all its perspectives.

But at the same time, his punch-lines come in blistering combinations. His metaphors stretch for bars, oftentimes flying overhead. He toes the line between THIS AND THAT with ease and comfort.

With his critically-acclaimed debut album “The Salvation,” Skyzoo, who is signed to Grammy award winning producer 9th Wonder’s Jamla Records imprint, was both Brooklyn’s narrator and curator. Anchored by vivid storytelling chased by youthful humor, the album hit the Billboard Top 200 charts at No. 14, the fourth-highest position among new artists. Working with a cast of producers that included 9th Wonder, Just Blaze, Nottz, Black Milk, Best Kept Secret, and Illmind, he created a sonic successor to hip hop milestones “Reasonable Doubt,” “Ready to Die,” “Illmatic” and “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx”, and was instantly labeled a hip hop classic.

But the urge to set aside the story telling and simply spit rhymes was always there.

It’s the reason he searched for the instrumental to Nas’ landmark “It Ain’t Hard to Tell” and Now, along with Illmind, the 27-year old emcee released one of 2010’s most highly-anticipated albums, “Live from the Tape Deck” on Jamla/Duck Down Records. The idea is a simple one: beats and rhymes. The gravity of The Salvation will be replaced by raw hip-hop. With features from Sean Price and Rock of Heltah Skeltah, Torae, Styles P, Buckshot and Rhymefest, the pair create the feel of classic, 90s-era cassette tape rap for an iTunes generation.
“If they lend me their ears, they’re also lending me their eyes,” Skyzoo said. ”When you hear my music, I promise you, you’re going to hear something that you’ve never heard before, and you’ll see something you’ve never seen. It’s that real.”

It’s a generation he’s more than in tune with. Leading up to the release of The Salvation, he took to YouTube to give fans glances into his creative process. With “Live From the Tape Deck,” he does the same, posting weekly episodes with insights into the album.

As CEO of AudioWorx Entertainment, he has his eyes and options open, developing ideas for ventures into film, television and merchandise. But rap is still the root.

From his 2006 EP “Cloud 9: The 3-Day High” with 9th Wonder to his collaborative work with Pete Rock, Lloyd Banks, Hi-Tek, Jake One, Flo-Rida, Maino, Little Brother, EPMD, N.O.R.E, Wale, Talib Kweli, Buckwild, Sean Price, and Don Cannon, to nationwide tours with the likes of Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Pharoahe Monch, and his Duck Down Records label mates, he’s worked with a hip-hip’s who’s who. His songs have been the backdrop for HBO’s “Entourage,” Rockstar Games’ “Grand Theft Auto 4: Lost and the Damned,” 2K Sports’ “NBA 2k11,” and ESPN.

Above all else, he is a student. As a part of the VERSES series for Court Dunn and 2DopeBoyz, he perched atop a park bench outside of a caged-in basketball court and recreated the haunting opening verse to Jay-Z’s “Regrets.”

The lyricism is intrinsic, no matter the form. His skill set is beats, rhymes, and life. But having proven himself as a narrator, he now wants to re-establish the rhymes.