I was put onto Skyzoo by my cousin back in ’05. I believe he was doing mixtapes with DJ Nyce at the time. Sky is extremely serious about his craft, and has always had an incredible work ethic. His style has truly evolved throughout the years. And my respect for him has grown along with his progression. I dig most of his music. But if you ask me, I think he really cemented his flag when he collaborated with 9th Wonder on that “Cloud 9: The 3 Day High” album released in ’06. Some of my favorite Sky projects consist of “Salvation”, “A Dream Deffered”,“Music For My Friends”, and “The Easy Truth”. Y’all should check them out if you haven’t.
Skyzoo’s catalogue of music is solid, simply because he’s always been good at picking dope beats that compliment his wordplay. “In Celebrations Of Us” is a great testament to that. When it comes to music, I’m not quickly convinced. It takes me a few listens to process an album in its entirety. But on first listen, I think it’s dope. This new album is definitely tight conceptually, sonically, and lyrically. I’d say it’s, “grown man rap made for the thinkers”. A lot of his albums could be soundtracks for Spike Lee’s joints.
So without any further ado, let’s chop it up with Skyzoo (that rhymes lol).
Weekly Rap Gods: So what have you been up to since the last album? I know you have been working on the new project. But besides that. The word on the street is you have been penning stuff for others, amongst other things.
Skyzoo: Yea. Between wrapping up my most recent album “In Celebration of Us”, ghost writing for others, working on film and TV screenplays, it’s definitely been a workload. But I love it. It’s all about the arts.
Weekly Rap Gods: What’s the over all concept of the new album and how did you come up with the name?
Skyzoo: The concept and title are interwoven, as the album truly is “In Celebration of Us“. As a people, as a culture, who we are as black folk, it’s an extremely pro black album. Everything that comes with us being who we are.
Weekly Rap Gods: What’s your process as far as picking beats and writing an album?
Skyzoo: I always start with the beats. Even if I have a concept in mind, I won’t write anything until I’ve found the right beat. The beat has to match what I’m tryna do conceptually. Once I’ve got that then the train starts to roll.
Weekly Rap Gods: Does this new album have any features and do you feel it’s necessary to have features on every project?
Skyzoo: There’s no rap features on here because I wanted to tell this story my way. There’s R&B features on here solely because I don’t know how to sing lol. Raheem Devaughn, Jake&Papa, Kay Cola, SabaAbraha, and JillIsBlack all make appearances on the album, but none of them rhyme. It’s not a crime to have features at all, as long as they make sense. I think when people go overboard with features than it’s a potential issue.
Weekly Rap Gods: What are your studio rituals? Anything in particular you need to have or do to get ready to record?
Skyzoo: Just water and WiFi. As long as I have bottled water and strong WiFi, I’m good to go in the lab.
Weekly Rap Gods: Do you work with one particular engineer for all your projects or do the producers provide mixes of the songs they produced?
Skyzoo: Producers usually send a decent two-track mix to record to and then I get the stems for the beat later. Lately I’ve been using my man Captive at Cook It Up studios in Brooklyn for all of my recording work.
Weekly Rap Gods: What keeps you motivated to keep making music?
Skyzoo: I’m motivated by the fans and the fact that there’s always more stories to tell. There’s always some type of perspective to be shown, always something to discuss, so that’s what I’m here for.
Weekly Rap Gods: As an independent artist, what types of struggles do you face in the industry?
Skyzoo: As an indie artist you have to move as a label. You do everything on your own: marketing, booming tours, setting up events, press runs, radio promo, photo shoots, artwork, everything is on you. But I’m from Brooklyn, so it don’t bother me.
Weekly Rap Gods: Any plans to tour this album? And do you enjoy being on the road?
Skyzoo: I’m definitely touring this album. I’ll be doing some US runs, as well as Europe and South Africa like I always do. The road is great because you get to bring the music to life for the people. It’s a beautiful experience seeing the world and performing for the people within it, all at once.
Weekly Rap Gods: What was your best performance experience and where?
Skyzoo: I’d definitely have to say Johannesburg, rocking for 35,000 people as a headliner for the Back To The City Fest. Easily.
Weekly Rap Gods: As far as the “Barrel Brothers” go, any plans on a sequel?
Skyzoo: None at the moment, as that was a one-off and I’m focused on my current album. But you never know what the future holds.
Weekly Rap Gods: Who are some of your favorite producers to work with?
Skyzoo: Definitely Illmind, ApolloBrown, SeigeMonstracity and MarcNfinit. They’re all family and all monsters at their craft.
Weekly Rap Gods: Out of all your projects, which one is your favorite?
Skyzoo: I’d say my most recent album, as well as “Music For My Friends” and “An Ode To Reasonable Doubt“.
Weekly Rap Gods: Who’s your Top 5 of all time in no particular order?
Skyzoo: I’d say B.I.G., Jay, Nas, BlackThought and MosDef.
Weekly Rap Gods: If you could pick anyone, who would you love to work with?
Skyzoo: HerbieHancock, WayneShorter, Pharrell, LeslieOdomJr., Nas, and Jay. At the moment that’s where I’m at.
Weekly Rap Gods: Who are you listening to these days?
Skyzoo: Besides myself, I’m always listening to old jazz. Honestly, I haven’t heard much rap in a while. I’m always down to hear more though. Whoever’s new and cooking. I’m a fan of the sport.
Weekly Rap Gods: If you ruled the world, what would you change?
Skyzoo: Trump. Period. End.
Weekly Rap Gods: In closing, where can we go first to find all of your music?
Skyzoo: Anywhere that music is consumed: iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, as well as actual record stores
Skyzoo – Baker’s Dozen ft. Raheem DeVaughn
Skyzoo – The Making of “In Celebration of Us”