Artist Spotlight: Skeezo
Last year was when I first became acquainted with Skeezo’s music. My initial feeling was that this guy was bringing back that NYC hardcore rhyming that groups like Mobb Deep and MOP made prevalent back in the 1990s. The dude’s lyrics hit like a hammer and he is unafraid to spit those street mentality rhymes in a world that more appreciates the candy coated genre.
Last year he and I briefly touched on a showcase on HHD for his talents and with his album, Face Value looming next month, we felt it was the perfect opportunity for new fans to get to know that man behind the music.
So peep this interview and make sure you cop his album in March. There’s some serious heat to occur.
HHD: Tell people where you represent and what artists you grew up listening to on your rise to being an emcee.
Skeezo: I’m representing M city New York (upstate Middletown ny). I grew up listening to Redman, Nas,Notorious BIG, 2 PAC, and Gangstarr to name a few.
HHD: How did you make the jump from being a listener and fan of artists to becoming an emcee yourself?
Skeezo: I started rhyming when I was about 12. Me and a few homies did it for fun. First just freestyling. A few years later started writing verses and eventually songs.
HHD: In 2009 you released your first and only album life and loyalty. Describe the experience in making your first album.
Skeezo: Hard work. I did everything by myself down to the art work. I gathered production from local heads and decided I wanted to make a real album. Step away from mixtapes/ CD’s ya know!? I recorded at a professional studio and just made music I loved. It was more about proving I could do it.
HHD: Your bio states that after you released life and loyalty you were about to leave the game but then caught that fire burning again to make music. What made you want to step away and then what were the events that made you regain that hunger? How did your perspective change?
Skeezo: life and loyalty is a special album for me. I put everything into it. The problem was I didn’t know the game (industry) like I thought I did. It’s not simple to make thing’s work. You have to promote it, press it,copyright it, distribute it etc. It was just me making music I loved but it went no where. I put a lot of money in something that fell on deaf ears. Lack of knowledge is what hurt the outcome the most. Plus my daughter (Allanah) was just born. I had more responsibility on my hands. My hunger was always there. It was like… I know I can do better than last time and I had a lot of people still doubting me. I said if I did it again then I’m gonna take it to another level. Set some standards for the none believers.
HHD: I know that you began to collaborate with Shabaam Sahdeeq. That’s a man who just seems to work harder and harder as the years go by. How has working with him influenced your own music and the way you go about your business?
Skeezo: Shabaam Sahdeeq is one of those artist that get better with time. Working with him is a blessing. You can’t slack wit a legend in your circle. So every time I work I plan ahead and think smarter. The best part is getting advice from someone that has already done everything I’m striving to do. And he’s real about accomplishing thing’s. No front or sugar coat. I dont need to be around anyone beating me in the head with the B.S! Real recognize real.
HHD: Now almost four years later you are about to drop an album entitled Face Value. Put into words how this album will differ from your first and what folks can expect when it drops.
Skeezo: Two words- Damn…and Oh Shit! Lol. I fixed a lot of mistakes from life and loyalty to now making face value. The production is stellar. No loose ends on this. With production from Da Beatminerz, Alkota, Alterbeats, Ruen,Sie 1 and appearance’s from Ruste juxx, Shabaam Sahdeeq, BMS,Masai Bey and Alpha Faktion to name a few. And a nice arsenal of music video’s to assist for your viewing pleasure. Everything is better! And my head is on tight. My conscious is clear. And still at the end of the day…its still only me putting the album out. No big budget, no label, no big promotion. Just raw hip hop And a stronger network.
HHD: How are you going to define success for yourself as emcee, Skeezo?
Skeezo: Putting out a album more people appreciate than the last one.
HHD: What’s the number one obstacle from keeping you from achieving your goals and that success?
Skeezo: Financial backing and time. I can never have enough!
HHD: In your pursuit of making dope music what are some things that you have had to sacrifice? What have you gained in the process?
Skeezo: Time with my family and friend’s. I miss them the most. I’ve gained The opportunity to travel and get my music to the people in different places. Meeting and building with artists I respect more than ever.. and most important, gaining respect for what I do from my peers,strangers, and established artists.
HHD: So aside from Face Value dropping 2013 what other plans do you have? Any videos or guest spots in the works that you can speak on?
Skeezo: Hahahah Yeah…this is the best part right?! Me and Shabaam Sahdeeq are dropping our project with Alterbeats/ Alterprod this year titled “Thicker Than Water”. All I can say is “We will set a standard that will change a lot”. The lyrical content is insane. Also I’ll be featured on the upcoming Alterprod album “class struggle” with a few video’s dropping for that! I am also woking with my brother Ruen on a ep titled “The other side” and I am also featured on the upcoming Soulslicers Project “Slice of life”and that has two video’s as well. Its gonna be busy year.
HHD: Any other comments and words for our readers?
Skeezo: I salute y’all for taking the time to listen to the music, watch my videos and read the interview. A lot more to come so keep your ears peeled and eyes open. One love