Beloved Emcee, Skyzoo Details His Latest Offering, The Easy Truth
For any tried and true Hip-Hop aficionado, The Easy Truth from rapper Skyzoo is EVERYTHING and then some. Recorded and produced in Detroit, Michigan, the fifteen-track extravaganza is exactly what occurs when one takes the witty wordplay of a revered New York City based emcee and ingeniously mixes it with the stellar production work of Grand Rapids by way of ‘The Motor City’ resident beat-maker, Apollo Brown.
We caught up with the veteran emcee for an interview on the latest project and much more. Check out the conversation below.
Parlé Mag: Let’s hop right into this brand new joint LP, The Easy Truth – Conceptually, what does this title represent both to and for you?
Skyzoo: The title came from everything that’s going on nowadays. From police brutality to the influx of gentrification, to just the country as a whole. I feel like no matter how much the media or the powers that be let us in on, there’s so much more that they’re hiding. They’re giving us the easy truth, but when the truth is told in full there’s nothing easy about the truth. So it’s a play on words with it, kind of a sarcastic nudge.
Parlé Mag: For it, of course, you teamed up with producer Apollo Brown. How did this collabo even come about?
Skyzoo: Apollo and I have been friends for awhile now, and we toured together a few years ago, so we’ve always had a dope rapport with one another. We started getting all these Tweets from fans suggesting that we work together on a full length project as opposed to a song here and there. Apollo hit me like, “the people are talking, we may have to follow through for them.” I agreed and we started brainstorming the project.
Parlé Mag: The set’s Westside Gunn & Conway featured lead single is entitled “Basquiat On The Draw”. Tell me about this particular composition? How did it actually come to fruition?
Skyzoo: I’ve been tight with West and Con for a while now, and we always jump on each other’s projects. Once Apollo played me that beat, I knew they’d be perfect for it as far as the tone of it sonically. It’s just a rap fest; go all out on 16 and leave it all on the table. They’re perfect for that type of emceeing.
Parlé Mag: How does The Easy Truth either differ and/or compare to previous Skyzoo efforts?
Skyzoo: It’s different because it’s with one sole producer, so it stands next to only Cloud 9 with 9th Wonder and Live From The Tapedeck with Illmind, being that everything else was with multiple producers. It also differs because it’s the first time in a while that I’ve done a project that was scaled back like this one. There’s less live instrumentation than I normally put forth on a project. This one is just drums and loops and bass lines. It’s good to take it back from time to time and somewhat scale back/simplify a tad.
Listen To The Easy Truth via Youtube Now:
Parlé Mag: From a lyrical standpoint, when you sit down to pen your rhymes where do you draw your inspiration from?
Skyzoo: My inspiration comes from my daily life. The things I see, experience, deal with, come across… they all add up to what eventually comes out on a record. I’ve always written about my experiences and the experiences of those around me. I take pride in that.
Parlé Mag: The Easy Truth comes courtesy of Mello Music Group, what particular string of events led to this unification?
Skyzoo: Well with Apollo, he only works with Mello. If you do a project with him, it has to be on Mello, so I knew that coming into it. Mello is known for doing great work, so it didn’t bother me at all.
Parlé Mag: Longevity, what do you attribute yours to?
Skyzoo: I personally attribute it to the fans. They’re the reason why I’m able to do what I do and why I’ve been a fixture in this culture for so long. Longevity has always been a high priority on my list because growing up, all the greats had that in common, so I just followed suit.
Parlé Mag: With that being said, how has not only the industry itself, but even more-so you as an artist, either changed or evolved since your whole inception into music?
Skyzoo: I’ve always looked at the industry for what it was, but not let it alter me or dictate who I am. I stand on the same morals no matter what, and I try to make that shine in the music. You come into the game looking from the outside in, thinking what you saw as an outsider was real, and then when you get in the ring you realize what’s real and what isn’t. Either way, the key is pushing forward as you are, not changing up.
Parlé Mag: What do you feel you offer the music industry that we don’t already have in other performers?
Skyzoo: I’ve been able to offer s realistic view of inner city life, urban America, from a lyrical standpoint, without pretending to be something I’m not. Coming from an intelligent perspective, due to a scholastic upbringing that may differ from those previously speaking from the same place as me. That may be different, may not be, but it’s me, and that’s all I strive for.
Parlé Mag: Have you encountered any problems in getting to this point in your career?
Skyzoo: I can honestly say no because anything that was a potential problem became a lesson that I appreciate. You learn from things in life, so I’m cool with it all; the good, bad, ugly or otherwise. I appreciate the experience.
Parlé Mag: What do you want people to get from your music?
Skyzoo: I want people to relate to my music, simply. I want people to see themselves in it and feel a connection that lasts a lifetime. My favorite artists did that for me, so as a musician I want to always do the same, just as I was taught.
Parlé Mag: On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of Hip Hop? And, even more specifically, where exactly do you “fit in” when it comes to today’s current/trending sound-scape?
Skyzoo: I’m happy with the state of Hip-Hop because we’re in a place now where if you don’t like what’s on TV and the radio, you can turn it off and dig for new music in tons of other places. There’s tons of artists and albums online from all over the world, so you’re not delegated to just what’s fed to you. I think we fit in seamlessly with the climate of today because it’s so vast; it’s not just one lane. We feed a sector of people who want what they knew, what they came up on, but isn’t stuck in that era. I make 2016 music that was born in 1995. That’s the best way to put it.
Parlé Mag: Do you have any other outside/additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?
Skyzoo: Well as a writer my hands are in a ton of literary endeavors. I’m working on a script for a major film and a television drama series, so that’s my next lane indeed.
Parlé Mag: What has been your greatest career achievement(s) so far?
Skyzoo: I’m blessed to say that I have too many to single out just one. But touring and headlining overseas yearly, working with Spike Lee, those are some of my standouts.
Parlé Mag: If you could collaborate with any one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Skyzoo: I think if I had to pick one, it’d be Miles Davis because Miles is Miles. Simple. That’s the best way to explain why.
Parlé Mag: If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?
Skyzoo: The Jazz Cafe in London. The greatest jazz musicians of all time have touched that stage. Touching that as well would be a milestone for me for sure.
Parlé Mag: One track of yours that you think defines you and why?
Skyzoo: I’d say “Langston’s Pen.” I’ve always felt that song describes everything that I’m about musically in a nutshell. It’s the perfect way to understand what my music is about. The perfect sampler.
Parlé Mag: Any “closing” thought(s) for our readers?
Skyzoo: Thanks to everyone who’s been supporting from day one; everyone who takes the time to listen and understand and appreciate. It in turn is appreciated 100%.
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