Storytelling with Skyzoo
Starting his career at the early age of nine, Skyzoo is a rapper from Brooklyn New York. An artist that prides himself in the art of storytelling, Skyzoo reveals his relationship with Jay Dee, an exclusive date of his upcoming album ‘A Dream Deferred,’ and how he plans to keep his musical integrity by making records that will stand the test of time. Margaret Tra writes.
Jay Dee was a significant influence on you and your music, what was it like working with him? And how does it make you feel that his music lives on?
I never got to work with Dilla. There's a misconception that I worked with Dilla, but I never did. I met him back in 2004, and we switched numbers and kept in touch, built somewhat of a business friendship and talked about working together. The last thing he said to me on the phone was that he wanted to make me a 20 beat zip folder for me to pick through. He said "I don’t wanna send you the same beats that I send to Common or Badu or someone else, I wanna send you your own personal batch of beats to pick from". We talked about doing a bunch of work, and then he got really sick and I never spoke to him again. I never got to get that beat folder from him due to him being sick, but I'm appreciative of the fact that we even got to build on the phone. He was a legend and still is, and it’s good to see his music continue to rock years later.
What new projects are you working on now?
Well I just released my newest mixtape "The Great Debater", which has been big on the internet all summer, so I'm promoting that as well as my "Penny Freestyle Series" project, which was a collection of freestyles I released every week over the month of August. I'm pushing those heavy, and then I'm going to start my next full length album “A Dream Deferred" in a few weeks. I should be done with and ready to release it by mid 2012.
You once stated you are about making money but with dope records. What did you mean by this?
With that statement, I meant that the music business is a "business", so we're all here to be successful and make money, but my goal is to do so with great music. I don’t feel like artists should have to lessen the quality of their music in order to be financially successful. I'm here to make as much money as possible, but with musical integrity and making records that to me will stand the test of time.
Can you notice the difference in Hip-Hop to back then in comparison to now?
Nowadays artists are exposed to so many outlets as far as getting their music out, building their own fan bases, becoming a business within themselves, and utilising sponsorship opportunities. There's so much to get involved with, and so many ways to reach people that weren't possible before. Musically, the genre has grown, just like any other genre, be it R&B, Rock, Jazz, etc. Music changes with the times and sometimes dictates it. I like how the music has changed. You definitely have your pros and cons with that, but I'm all for the music growing.
A possible Australian tour?
I'd love to do an Australian tour. I've never been, but I know the people out there are ready. Hopefully we can get that going soon.
We interviewed Bootie Brown from Pharcyde and he said Hip Hop has turned into pop, what are your thoughts on that?
I agree with that when you remember that the word "pop" is short for "popularity". Hip-Hop is the most popular genre in the world. Our culture is the dominant culture in everyday life: television, video games, retail, tourism, everything is loosely based around Hip-Hop. I personally think it’s a great thing.
Who are your favourite MCs at the moment?
At the moment, I'm listening to Torae, Sean Price, Wale/MMG, Skarr Akbar, and King Mez. And I'm always listening to my usual list of Jay-Z, Kanye, Lupe, and Pusha T.
How does it feel to know your music receives love in Australia?
Thanks to all of the people who've supported over the years, got familiar with the music, and have become one with what I do. My music reflects me but represents you, so thanks for allowing me to do so.