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Over the course of his, now, twenty-plus year career in Hip Hop, native Brooklyn, New York rapper / songwriter Skyzoo has released a succession of notable solo and collaborative – 9th Wonder, Illmind, Torae, Apollo Brown and Pete Rock – bodies of work.

His latest tour-de-force, The Mind of a Saint (with The Other Guys), Sky’s eleventh studio set, delves into the deep-seated mindset of Franklin Saint, the lead character in the FX show, Snowfall. 

Skyzoo also owns and operates the independent record label, First Generation Rich.


To quote the late, great The Notorious B.I.G., “You never thought that Hip Hop would take it this far!” — Was this something that you ever could’ve imagined?

For me personally, I definitely imagined it because I saw what our art form meant at a very young age. I started rapping at 9, in 1991 / 1992 and Hip Hop was already on the rise but clearly not where it’s at now, but the funny thing about that is when you’re into something, especially as a kid, you think it’s the most grand thing in the world, regardless of how large or small your world may be. So when Hip Hop became the cultural phenomenon that we know it as worldwide, it was like “of course, it’s as large as it is because it should be.”

What are some of your fondest, most stand-out moments / memories during your lengthy tenure in this thing called Hip Hop?

My fondest memories are the early days of me just being a fan. Growing up in Brooklyn as a kid, Hip Hop was everywhere. Late ‘80’s / early ‘90’s was a smorgasbord for Hip Hop, coming out of every speaker, every window, every Walkman, so those early days are real meaningful to me. On top of that, I’d say all the things I’ve been blessed to achieve in my career to date. All of them hold the same weight to me because they’re all blessings.

That said, what are your future plans and / or goals throughout the remainder of 2024 and beyond?

My most recent project The Mind of a Saint is out now and still making waves everywhere, which has been great to experience. On top of that, I’m touring a ton this year domestically and overseas, and I think I’m gonna try to get another project out before the year closes out.

Switching gears here, what exactly do you want people to get from your music?

My music has always been about relatability, lyricism, and storytelling. Those are the main ingredients every time you sit at this table of mine. Those are, you know, what you’re getting when you come this way. I purposely built my career like that because those are my chosen calling cards. Those are the elements that make you stand the test of time.

If you could collaborate with any one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I’d say Miles Davis. Me being a Jazz head, Miles is my favorite musician probably of all time. I named my son after him, I listen to his music daily, so for me I’d say Miles for sure.

If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?

Carnegie Hall or Jazz at Lincoln Center for sure. Being both a Jazz head and a New Yorker, those are sacred venues to me. I’d have to add the Apollo as well for sure, but Carnegie or JLCO a dream.

On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of Hip Hop?

I’m happy with the DIY element of it, but overall, no I’m not. There was a moment where it seemed as if things were starting to potentially balance out, but now it’s gone off the rails again. As someone who loves the craft and the art form, it’s disheartening to see and to have to navigate through.

What do you feel has and will continue to be the key to your longevity?

The key for me has been consistency. My fans and core know that when I’m releasing a record, they can depend on the elements I mentioned earlier: lyricism, relatability, and storytelling. When people can depend on your product, you’ll never have an issue sticking around.

Do you have any other outside / additional (future) aspirations, maybe even completely away from entertainment?

Outside of my own music, I’m known for doing a good amount of ghostwriting for other artists, as well as acting in some small films to date and even writing and developing my own shows and films with the hopes of them hitting networks soon. Anything with an ink pen involved, count me in.

What’s an average day like for you?

For me, everything revolves around my family at home. My son is the anchor to it all. I wake up at 6am, get him ready for school, and once he’s on the bus, I’m doing a handful of things; running errands for my house, taking care of bills and other business, and living on the phone. Most of my midday hours are spent on the phone conducting conferences calls about new projects, splits on current and former business deals, scheduling tours, the works. Around 4 or so, I get my son from after school and come home to my wife, and we try to have a normal evening, but the phone never stops! lol. I also cook all of the food in my house, as I’ve been called an excellent chef. Those are the people’s words, so no gloating on my end. lol! My son is in bed by about 8pm, and then from there I try to get downstairs in my studio and work on music. Before you know it, it’s 1am and I’ve gotta get some sleep to be up by 6am. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…

I treat my fans as “fam,” and I feel like I go above and beyond for them. I never say no to an autograph, a photo, and handshake, nothing. I’ve taken FaceTime calls at merch tables to wish fans happy birthday. I’ve done video shout out drops for fans via their wives or families’ requests. I’ve listened to demos and beats in the parking lot after shows when I’m exhausted from being on stage. I try to show them how much I appreciate them being in my world, and me being in theirs.

What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And, why?

For me, it’s being able to tell stories. I grew up as a writer, so being able to do what I love and get paid for it is a dream for sure.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

My advice would be to remember that this game is a business, so move with morals and integrity but don’t expect everyone else to do so. It truly is “the game.” Stay consistent, keep the love for your craft, and keep your head on a swivel in every deal or meeting that you take.

Looking ahead, say five or maybe even ten years from now, where do you see yourself?

Five to ten years from now, my son will be a lot older so I’m curious as to what he’ll think of my music and if he’ll approve of my run. lol. I hope to be still performing my older material, legacy style, but I’m not sure if I’ll still be making music. Five years? Probably. Ten years? I’m not sure. Who knows.

Any “parting” words for our readers?

My parting words would first be to acknowledge the love and support you all have shown. It always, always goes noticed and appreciated. Aside from that, I’d say keep expecting greatness from whoever you listen to. Don’t let them off the hook so easily. As listeners you all deserve top tier from all of us on the ground floor creating for you guys.


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Skyzoo: Standing The Test Of Time #HH50

Skyzoo: Standing The Test Of Time #HH50

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