Skillz: 5 Ways To Know You’re A Backpacker

Backpack rap isn’t dead yet. At least not yet. But in the past year, backpackers have seemingly taken a back seat to tight jeans-wearing hipsters. [Editor's Note: Is there really a difference?] They’re are still out there. One of our staffers caught up with proud backpacker, Skillz, to find out exactly what makes a backpacker.

XXL Staffer: Name five things that makes you a backpacker.

Skillz: You haven’t been on 106 & Park yet (1). You haven’t been on TRL yet (2). They’re not on your radar. They wont be on your radar until the company decides to put a little more money in your backpack. You’re not on tour with Jay-Z (3).

XXL: Jay shows backpackers love, though.

Skillz: Who? Who?

XXL: Some consider the Roots backpack. And what about 9th Wonder? He got him on “Threat” from The Black Album and on two songs on Destiny’s Child’s last album?

Skillz: He didn’t take him on tour. [Laughs] He took Just Blaze. We do good when we down here. See if I was Jay-Z I would definitely find who the hot underground artist is and do a song with him.

You’re Not Invited To Any Award Shows. Unless they wanna put you on the cipher in their show on the rooftop. If you don’t have any of the old Jordans…You gotta have something that reminds people of that era. You gotta be able to go back to some degree. If you don’t have no throwback, retro nothing. It’s not the same.

XXL: Would you say that anybody who doesn’t fit those, may have to consider themselves a backpacker?

Skillz: May have to. –XXL Staff

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  • cold war kid

    “He didn’t take him on tour”

    He’s touring Europe with Wale right now….

  • profhit3

    STOP all the hate and appreciate the success of our “upperground” emcees. Because if you had their success you’ll be labeled right along with them.

    Profhit stands for PROfessional HIT! Greatest Underground emcee ever and I don’t consider myself a backpacker, just someone who loves hip hop and will be doing it forever. One!


    and usually da ppl dats on top of there game were once underground @ 1 point in there career…so da backpack aint wut make u a tru hip hop underground legend…its da quality of da music…PERIOD!!!

  • J.P.

    Skillz makes me lol he’s like an underground artist who will always be an underground artist now he’s calling himself a backpacker nigga get the fuck outta here. he always tryna set himself from the norm. but he can’t cuz he’s boring…..”goes to sleep” ahahahah WE LIVE

    • Phil

      “Live”…yeah right, and unsigned reading an article about Skills. Don’t mock till you in his spot. Pathetic.

  • Tony Grand$

    Antbody who can even name is Skillz song is old enuff to have seen the evolution of our music. “Backpacka and hippie” are just labels. Technically its more of a way to seperate us and put us in catergories, so a “backpack” rap nigga who’s proud to be that is tellin u “I’m underground and won’t ever change”. An ‘MC’ is tellin u he raps and that’s that. Its dumb to me cuz n my hood, its gangbang niggas who rap they asses off, but dude don’t go round sayin “I’m gangsta rap”. And that hippie shit, well in LA (standthefuckup!) We call it skateboarder, metro, all kinds of shit. But if u got true talent, u can call me whatever. I’m still fuckin with weezy, jigga, nas, eminem, face, ugk, tha liks, mobb deep, fif whatever. Its all music. That funny lookin shit is a way to get attention. And Skillz, the semi-old skool is dependin on u, be thorough my nig! We’s grown folk now bruh.

    Cali luv as usuals mufuckaz! Westsider Ryderz! Baybay!

    • Caine

      Aye, dat was some TRILL shit. Most niggas always try to Regionalize Hip Hop, and put labels on shit they don’t like. I fuck wit all GOOD music. Skillz just dropped a new album Tuesday tho – Million Dollar Backpack…

  • Tha Ace

    is it just my counting or did he not name 3 reasons why?