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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Skillz a.k.a. Mad Skillz Freestyle

I've always thought of Skillz, formerly known as Mad Skillz, as an underappreciated talent in the rap world. While hist 1996 debut From Where??? seems to have achieved a sort of cult status since the Internet boom, it still doesn't get the recognition it deserves.  How can you wrong with two early Dilla beats, a Large Professor, Q-Tip, and Skillz posse cut over a Large Pro beat, and producers like The Beatnuts, Buckwild, and Shawn J. Period rounding out the production roster?  Add in Skillz' lyrical abilities and you have an extremely impressive rookie effort.

Since then, his sophomore effort I Ain't Mad No More was marred by label problems at Rawkus and he has yet to see any of his more recent albums find commercial success.  While his solo career may not have panned out the way some fans would hope, it is good to know that Skillz has had major success as a songwriter for other artists.  Skillz seems happy with this arrangement and has recently announced his retirement as a solo artist (check link in previous sentence).  I'm happy that Skillz is making a living off of music and enjoys working with other people, but I still hold out hope that some day he'll release a Frow Where-esque album.  

While I can't share any new Skillz albums with you today, I can share this great freestyle from the Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito show from 1997.  

This was posted on DJ Nes's Dirty Waters blog, one of the all-time great rap archive blogs out there.  Endless freestyles, mix tapes, and rare 12"s for rap fanatics to drool over.  Make sure to check it out.                  

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