Skyzoo Playlists

In one of our most enjoyable chats to date we delved into Skyzoo’s latest effort ‘All the Brilliant Things’ on Episode 13.

Within the chat David requested a Skyzoo playlist looking into his previous work or perhaps a quick trip into the Brooklyn artists that inspired Skyzoo…. I chose to do both!

First and foremost lets delve into some of the most formative hip hop tracks from Brooklyn. Where do you start and more so end?

And then Skyzoo. Like the Brooklyn playlist it could be much longer and was tough to keep it down to 10 tracks (plus a bonus).

What tracks do you love that I missed?

Public Enemy

This is what I’ve wanted. This is literally what I’ve been waiting for. Public Enemy, re-signed to Def Jam and angry. I grew up on Public Enemy, from age 11 they’ve been part of my life, particularly the first decade of their output (I kind of got lost after that). My lens on American politics was massively influenced by Chuck D. Therefore, I’ve been crying out for his thoughts for at least the last 4 years … and here we have them;

Go, go, go, just go
Go, go, go (we have)

Whatever it takes, rid this dictator
POTUS my tail, Ass debater
Prime-time Preemo, rhyme-time crime
Like no other in this lifetime
White house killer, dead in lifelines
Vote this joke out, or die tryin’
Unprecedented, demented, many president’d
Nazi Gestapo dictator defended
It’s not what you think, it’s what you follow
Run for them jewels, drink from that bottle
Another four years gonna gut y’all hollow
Gutted out, dried up, broke and can’t borrow

State of the Union, shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

Stay away from meMister, I am the law and you are not
In fact, I’m god, I got a lot
Mister these united breaks takeover come over
Orange hair, fear the comb-over
Here’s another scare, keep them hands in the air
Better not breathe, you dare not dare
Don’t say nothing, don’t think nothing
Make America great again the middle just love it
When he wanna talk, walk y’all straight to them ovens
Human beings of color, yeah we be sufferin’ (come on)

State of the Union, shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

Go, go, go, go, go
Go, go, go, go, go

Better rock that vote or vote for hell
Real generals now, not some USFL
Not a fuckin’ game, I dare not mention his name
Operation 45, yeah it’s the same thing
Sounds like Berlin burnin’, same thing
History’s a mystery if y’all ain’t learning
End this clown show, for real a state bozo
Nazi cult 45 Gestapo

State of the Union, shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

Classic Album: Gang Starr – Moment of Truth

I must admit that I was a bit surprised that the rest of the brothers have neglected Gang Starr from their music collections, though it excites me that I’m welcoming you all to something new.

Gang Starr consisted of two members, MC Guru and DJ Premier. By the point that this album was released in 1998 both as a group (this was their 5th album) and side projects (Guru’s Jazzmazztazz and DJ premier well know beats through the famed D&D studios) Gang Starr were arguably at the top of their game. This album had ALLOT of expectations around it from all levels. The questions was could classic Hip Hop live in 1998?

If you recollect in the 1998 it was a time of champagne and fur coats in rap videos, the back end of the West Coast Vs East Coast beef and the accent of No Limit records….. essentially there was allot of whack rap being released. It was also a time that independent hip hop was gaining traction. The rise of the internet was allowing underground independent hip hop record labels such as Rawkus, ABB Records and Fat Beats distribution to have a wider reach. Very much at the forefront of boom bap backpack rap Gang Starr whom had allot to prove with this album. Their record label wanted radio plays, they wanted to keep their street cred. The result could go either way. Could they still engage the mainstream whilst keeping the backpackers happy?

This album for me was a masterstroke in making a complete album without losing credit. The NY underground boom bap is heavily represented with tracks like ‘You Know My Steez’, ‘The Milita’ and ‘Work’. On the other hand they dipped their toes into the mainstream with tracks like ‘Royalty’ and the reflective ‘Moment of Truth’.

Guru’s voice commands respect and his lyrics span from insight to straight battle raps. Look up the lyrics for ‘You Know My Steez’. I must have listened to that track 100 times in the first day I had the album. As for the beats that DJ Premier came with, and the cuts….. to this day are some of the best!

This album brings back allot of memories for me, I was listening to it when my plane was approaching London when I came over to UK for ‘a few months’ in 2001. Inspecta Deck’s verse on ‘Above the Clouds’ being one of my favourite of all time and apt as the plane broke through the cloud cover of the UK to expose London. ‘Work’ is still one of my favourite tracks to get me going when I run. The tingle that I got the first time I heard ‘You Know My Steez’, and how I lost my shit when I first hear Freddie Foxx on ‘The Militia’.

I still come back to this album, it’s a classic. Give this some time and enjoy. There’s lots to get stuck into with Moment of Truth.