I'm all right.
I can't complain. I have a lot going on and I'm staying busy, busier than
up with this album you have with 9th?
we did an album together real quick. It was real spur-of-the-moment. We
did twelve joints in three days. We just decided to bang it out.
the project start?
I see 9th, he gives me a new beat-CD. I got all the joints in my crib,
and each one has about fifteen joints on there. The whole JL (JUSTUS League)
shows me so much love. I planned a trip to go to North Carolina and just
do some joints. A few days before my flight left, I was listening to the
radio and I was real bored. I just started going through his beat-CD's
and did like eight or nine joints in New York in two days. I just did
them to do them. When I came down, nobody had any idea I did anything.
I gave him a CD to check out what I had done. The next day he called me.
He said the CD was crazy and outrageous. He was telling me how much he
loved it and wanted to know what I wanted to do with it. I said, "Let's
do three more joints and put it out." He made three beats in front
of me and we banged it out.
of albums, like Busta Rhymes' The Big Bang, took a long time. This didn't
take that long. Is the quality there?
quality is definitely there. It's a chemistry thing. When you work with
somebody who's as talented as 9th, those beats bring the best out of you.
Look at how many people download them and do joints to them. Those beats
bring something out of you. I know how 9th works. He makes beats in five
or ten minutes. I've watched him. He's an incredibly talented dude. It's
a chemistry thing. I'm a fast worker. Everything I write is usually at
the studio. I don't sit in the crib and write and find a beat for it later.
I go to the studio, turn on the beat, and twenty minutes later I have
a whole song. That's how I've always been as a writer. We're both talented
and those beats are just so hard. Musically, it's just incredible. It's
just a dope project. It's a dope project to have for the summer to hold
you over. The people who have heard it have been losing their minds. This
is just something I did to do and it's looking like it's going to be one
of the biggest releases of the year. People are really bugging out and
it's a great thing.
a sudden Skyzoo has an album coming out.
We just started promoting it. It all started when 9th leaked one of the
songs on his MySpace page. We were still working when he did that. This
was that day when he was making the beats for me. He leaked it on his
MySpace and it had a thousand hits right away. I think it has 30,000 now.
It was crazy. Once we saw that, we looked at each other and knew we might
have something big on our hands. I'm lucky to have a friend who's so talented.
9th is my dude and he just throws me joints and that's how we work.
9th's in North Carolina, he has that universal sound.
thing about it. Being in New York and going to different beat battles
and having a name up here as someone who is coming up, I get a lot of
beat-CD's from a lot of different people and I always listen to everything
I get. You never know who's going to be next so I listen to everybody.
A lot of those beats just aren't there. It's crazy that I have to go to
North Carolina to get New York beats. That's what 9th and Khrysis do down
there. It's crazy that I have to go down there, but I'll get it wherever
I have to get it from.
frustrated with how 9th works based on recording Murray's Revenge. Do
you and 9th have similar problems?
Nah. I read
that interview and I like what Murs does with 9th. A lot of people asked
me about that and asked me if that was true about 9th. I can't vouch for
that because I work with 9th great. We knock the joint out, he feels it,
he mixes it and puts the drops in. I don't have any problem with what
he does with the music. He'll put a lot of drops in it. When 9th goes
to mix it, he'll put drops all over the place. He'll chop the beat here
and do a drop here. I was going crazy watching him like, "How did
you do that?" I can't speak for anybody else's chemistry with him,
but I can say when we work together, it comes out great. I dig what he
does and he digs what I do. I work great with 9th. We've never had an
argument. It's a good thing with him. I love working with 9th. I'd work
with 9th any day of the week.
have a better idea of who Skyzoo is after hearing "I'm On It"?
Yeah. I think
the whole album will do that. If I did this in three days, imagine what
I can do in three months. I stopped recording for this album after three
days. I did other recording with Pooh, Chaundon, and Khrysis, but not
for this album. I think people are going to be blown away that this was
done in three days. People are going to question that, but 9th and I can
vouch for that. Songs like "I'm On It" have a good vibe. "The
Bodega" is grimier and describes what we go through on the corner.
There's a lot of different vibes and it all goes well together on the
your inspiration for "The Bodega"?
It's easier to write the truth than a lie. That goes for anything from
books to screenplays. It's hard when you have to tell lies. I think I
wrote that song in twenty minutes and did the hook off the top of my head.
Most of the time that's who I do my hooks. That song is about standing
out in front of the 2-4, that's the 24-hour spot in our neighborhood.
It's about hanging out in the corner store with your peoples and then
all of a sudden, it's mayhem. Brooklyn is no different from Queens or
Harlem which is no different from Atlanta. That's what that song is about.
"Way to Go" mean to you?
one of 9th's favorite songs. When that song was done, he had everybody
listening to it. I don't write at home and then find a beat for it because
it won't fit. I wrote to that one and the beat spoke to me. Whatever the
beat tells me to do, I do it. The vocal sample says "You've got a
long way to go." They've got a long way to go to get what we've got.
That's all that's basically saying. I'm setting up my spot and letting
people know I'm here and I'm doing what I do. They have a long way to
go to catch up to where we're going. It's dope hip-hop. It's just dope
beats, dope rhymes, dope flows and everything is meshing together.
will this album do best at?
I think it's
going to do well everywhere, but I think it's definitely going to get
a lot of love overseas and all throughout Cali. For some reason, I just
get that feeling. I think the tri-state is going to eat it up. When 9th
does albums with people, his beats are so hard but feel-good that they're
universal. It's not like other producers where they only have a certain
sound. 9th has down south joints and joints with Ness and they sound perfect.
These are straight New York joints that can be universally-accepted. I
think this is going to do real well in New York. I'm getting emails and
fan mail all day, everywhere. I'm practically living on MySpace now because
I'm responding to emails. People have heard the song everywhere and I'm
just trying to keep up with the hype.
you want any particular beats from 9th?
Nah, I never
said that to 9th. I would ask him for something hard or some street shit
sometimes. He has so many different sounds with the beats, but they all
have a 9th Wonder sound. They all sound similar and different to each
other. You'll probably never even hear another "Threat" from
him. Everybody asks him for that. I even asked him for that. You don't
just do that over and over. You reinvent yourself. You'll probably never
get another "Let It Go." It's just about reinventing yourself
and I think that's what he does every time he gets on the beats.
will this album be coming out on?
It was going
to be independent as far as me putting it out through my company Custom
Made. The Hall of JUSTUS was going to get involved and help us, but now
people are really hollering every day about the project. Every day, for
the past week and a half, somebody has called asking about the project.
There are so many indie labels on the come up and they want to do a one-off.
We're just figuring it out. I'm really blessed. God really looked out
on this one. I never expected for it to be this big. Everything is working
out and I'm just glad I have 9th Wonder as a friend. It's just a good
thing. Everything is meshing together.
the album going to drop?
at a July release. We were looking at June, but we're going to push it
back a little bit. It's not as big of a push-back as if it were coming
out on a major. It's only a couple weeks away. A lot of people thought
it was coming out at the end of June but a lot of things happened to make
the situation better and to help it. It's going to be available in more
stores and outlets and hopefully there will be a tour to support it. It
should be fine. As long as people hear the three joints I released and
the song I'm about to release, everything should be fine. The push-back
isn't that heavy. It shouldn't be too bad.
one of the only artists to record a tribute to J.Dilla after he passed.
What was your relationship like with Dilla?
an inspiration. He was somebody I looked up to since high school when
I first heard him with Q-Tip, Janet Jackson, Slum Village
passed, it really crushed me. You know everything gets better with time.
He was a producer and I never made a beat in my life. I'm a straight rapper,
but his work ethic and drive was really an inspiration for me. I met Dilla
back in 2004 at a Madvillian concert in New York. He was a surprise guest
and I knew he was going to be there. I waited 'til four in the morning
to meet him and I was floored when I finally did, like I had just met
Jordan. Right away, we switched numbers and that blew me away. I still
have his old cell number in my phone today. We switched numbers, kicked
it, and got up a week later. We would just kick it on the phone about
beats and he wanted to send me beats. It was a beautiful thing. When he
passed, it hit really hard. Chaundon was the first person to call me.
It was a hard blow, but everything works out for the best.
you remember most about him?
he was. He was the coolest dude in the world. For somebody of his status
and he's looked at the way he is and he's admired by so many people, he
had the right to be a weird dude or a grimy dude, but he wasn't like that.
He gave me his number and he was just a real cool, laid-back dude. His
music speaks for itself. I did a tribute to Dilla called "Sky's Last
Donut." That was for me. That was me thanking him for everything
he did. It reached out all over the place on the internet and it ended
up being in Spin Magazine as one of the most downloaded songs in the country.
I didn't even know about that until a friend called me and told me. They
even had my name spelled right. It was just me showing my love for him.
I know 9th has a lot of love for Dilla too. He feels like when he makes
beats, Dilla is watching him. We dedicated the project to him and to my
cousin, who was a DJ, who passed as well. We did this to keep his name
alive. This is good music, which is what he would want.
the next move for Skyzoo?
it's all about Cloud 9. I'm working on the next mixtape which should drop
in the fall, sometime in October or November. I already have a crazy lineup
for that. Beat-wise, I have 9th Wonder, Khrysis, Illmind, Black Milk,
he's incredible for those who don't know, and some others. Everything
is working out. It's a good thing. The next tape is going to be crazy.
I haven't even named it yet. I'm going to keep making music every day
and fans hit me on the website saying thank you for what I'm doing. I
just do what I do. I don't try to sound like Jay or Nas or anybody else.
That's why the people mess with me, because they know I'm me and that's
clear things up, what's your official affiliation with the JUSTUS League?
I'm not in
the JUSTUS League and I'm not in the Hall of JUSTUS. I have Custom Made
and that's my crew. The Hall of JUSTUS is my second family. I'm like a
cousin who lives in another state. When I come around, it's like a family
reunion. I'm Custom Made. That's my crew, but the JUSTUS League shows
me so much love people think I'm in it. I've never received so much love
from a rap crew who was on. I've never received that much love. Shout
out to them. They know I have their back for life and they got mine. That's
my extended family.
you want to say to everyone?
everybody supporting the music and my career. I've been rhyming my whole
life and this is what I do. Anything you hear me do, it comes from my
soul, even if it's a quick sixteen. I want to thank everybody and for
supporting what I'm doing, supporting 9th Wonder and Custom Made. Thank
you to everybody holding me down. I think Cloud 9 is going to make everybody
happy. It's twelve songs in three days and it just feels good. It's an
album, not a mixtape. There's concepts, different beats, and it's forty-five
minutes, so as soon as it's done, you're going to have to rewind it. I'm
going to keep doing what I do. Whatever I do, it's going to be authentic
and I'm going to keep being me.
with Skyzoo at http://myspace.com/skyzoo