20 of the Best Lyrics From Skyzoo’s ‘In Celebration of Us’ Album
For more than a decade, Skyzoo's name has been consistently mentioned amongst hip-hop's sharpest lyricists. The Brooklyn-bred MC first made waves after teaming up with producer 9th Wonder for Cloud 9: The 3 Day High, a 2006 mixtape that took Skyzoo's buzz national and make him one of the more acclaimed young prospects on the indie scene.
Building on that momentum, Skyzoo dropped his debut album, The Salvation, in 2009. The project made good on his promise as one of his era's elite wordsmiths. Subsequent releases like 2012's A Dream Deferred, 2015's Music for My Friends, and numerous EPs and collaborative projects have only helped bolster Skyzoo's legacy as an artist known to set the bar in the sport of lyricism (he's collected some hefty ghostwriting checks over the years, too).
That passion for wordplay continues on the rapper's latest release, In Celebration of Us, which arrives just in time for Black History Month. "I wanted to tap into the present, more so than any other album of mine," Skyzoo says via press release. "Music of the times is the best way to describe it. From cultural appropriation and gentrification to police brutality and the irony of motives behind bigger motives, it’s an album that explores who we are and why we are where we are in society, as a people. What’s been done to us and what we’ve done to ourselves, mainly out of confused necessity, all while celebrating us in the process. I’m honored to be able to give my take on our story".
He keeps the guest features to a minimum—only vocalists Raheem Devaughn, Kay Cola, Saba Abraha, Jake&Papa and poet WordsNCurves chip in over the course of the album's 15 tracks.
After giving the Skyzoo's latest a few spins, XXL digs deep into the album to pick out 20 lyrics from In Celebration of Us that will likely force you to mash the rewind button.
"Celebratory moments of a glass or a bottle in the air /Or a flask and a shotti with a flare /And the bag coming out when one appears/Or the flash of a body in the stairs /And the crash of a lobby in despair/Or moments where you getting patted on the ground/That then turn into badges on the ground" —Skyzoo
"Backtracking to the moments that inspired the toast/To the half gallon of Henny for supplying the hope/'Til you back to backing the semi from inside of ya coat/Either that or standing on the other side of the scope/Or its a celebration of being nowhere near where the aim is/Trigger fingers turn to quotations/Same fingers boxing you in will leave you vacant/Round of applause down the hall for all your patience" —Skyzoo
"And may y'all continue to prey on who you root on/Like stay on and make a seance out of a nuance/And say y'all, get in the way of what I been due on/My catalog is like Avon meets Brother Mouzone/Threw y'all a 3 peat and we bout to part 4 it/You either part for it or parkour it/This what it sound like/when you give the sound light/And everything above it wind up under the ground like" —Skyzoo
"It sound like raising a .45/And making the floor rise, all while explaining apartheid/All while changing a car ride to aiming at off sides/All while playing the Pharcyde/And pray if the car dies/That you was low enough to get lost by whoever had a set on your door side/Closer than a rear-view, low as it appears to/Where they grow weight and throw weight like Amir do" —Skyzoo
"And when your fave spitting that shit and you seem surprised/I'm Eric betting with Kyle, I'm feeding 'em from behind/Word to Kenny, all this work, who working wit' me/Cause it was either work out a verse or work a semi/Box out like Hakeem, 30/20/Threw the pump fake and they thinking I work for Semi/Lot of lines, I'll give you time to go and break those/Meanwhile, I'm ducking from plain clothes" —Skyzoo
"One time for the love of the lead and the way it had us/And the irony of the dotting the beam on whatever matters/Black lives and black fives, the frame boxing out/I'm Luke Cage'ing, but more related to Cottonmouth/And we related to whoever made it/And came back to park it in front of us and let us chase it" —Skyzoo
"Heard 'em when they was saying to never leave until the plate done/And how it turn into better bitches with better lacefronts/I mean, you either out or you on it, got it or want it/Same way 9 won't cut it, like find yo' budget/Regardless of who move up the block, the block shaking/You moved in when they promised you that the block's vacant" —Skyzoo
"Corner store still open, it ain’t too late/Said to praise that in your arms like it’s a bouquet/Same way as you ever thought, sweeter than Kool-Aid/Brown paper bags for us all baby, touché/Took it right back outside, the way they want it/Catch us on line for the pie, baby who cutting?" —Skyzoo
"Cheer me on, look at the tier I be on/I done been acclaimed so long, I'm cleared beyond/Music for my friends who never could steer me wrong/Straps all over their front like a pair of Deions/For realla, and it get for realla like/Killing the top to figure out what the ceiling's like/From in the new shit, new shit, roof split like Goyards/Know I'm for the city like Olaf's" —Skyzoo
"Talk keynote or kilo', I can do both/Crowned me for being the first to put 'em too close/Underrate him but overpay him is how the loop go/Still got the line on whoever is what you do know/And you know, jump in ya lane and pull up the echoes/Son, I'm all over the aim, I'm Hoodie Melo/Been up, to look like I wasn't wasn't an accident/So if I'm still sitting, I'm Kaepernick" —Skyzoo
"So love me like I introduced you to Dominicans/Whether it was Ayisha Diaz or her kin and 'em/Talking bout a price and what it's worth to be the middleman/Fitted for a crown and how it works and the expense of it/Love me like the drummer, love me like never running out of Runners/Love me like what they sung before they hung us/Hymns getting lost in the clouds when they were flung up/Or shells getting caught in the crowd by the wrong 'others'" —Skyzoo
"Like other than you and other than him/Until they learn those exceptions turn to others with them, right?/Or otherwise, shooting for the other side/'Til they box you without a trial on a one-to-five/And then love me like you was Venida Browder/Pickets outside and you just tryin' to ease the crowd up/Knowing ya heart died makes your heart beat louder/Until the speakers blow and it lift you up from around us" —Skyzoo
"Said to make owning a roof part of a habit/But learned that sitting in rooms that didn't have 'em/Heard that as getting your roof was all that mattered/All that to lift off the roof, could you imagine/The irony of the top being behind you/Be it the roof or the proof of who defied you" —Skyzoo
"Killing the roof make it easier to hear who applaud/Whether it's 'bravo y'all' or aiming at your car/Whether it's 'bravo y'all,' staring at your arms and how they can fit up under/How to live up the summer/The park and how it does us is credit achieved/Same 456'ing over Peddler Themes/Same view of intuition you was led to believe/Same shooters in position if you ever do need" —Skyzoo
"Can it all be so, Cory and Dennis?/Top 3's and chopped cheese all through the winters/Boxed jeeps and Cardi B's off of the scrimmage/Mahogany behind the seats, caught in the lyrics/Do you know where you going to? Draw up what they know of you/Picture that with enough space for whoever should go with you/Told me what we here for same way it was told to you/My Saint Laz heavy enough to pray over both of you" —Skyzoo
"Til you knew the tone you receiving was off a payment/Like when it's two tones on the V that you serenading/Mike '92 tone on the Beamer, 'Rockaway Ray' it/Or white-and-blue tone from the D's all in the way and it/Gets in between, soon as you got it, you grey it/I mean, silly me for tryin' to Co-Op and New Day it/I be centerpieced like I was tryna two-way it/I preach Hennessy, but I see the need to D'usse it" —Skyzoo
"And when you get on, you put on where the attention at/And know that looking on is to listen back/And getting back everything you did it for, bright is what you living for/Promise it would never turn dim at all/And all it took to come to life was a stage to live it/Shit can happen overnight if you awake to get it/Like aiming before you draw and what it takes to hit it/Or Caine and O-Dog the stickup tape from Menace" —Skyzoo
"It's like knowing where the cameras in the walls are/And they was already talking for you before the talk start/And your direction come into question like it was OnStar/It's either turn it on for the tape or turn into wall art/Or maybe you was there, but you really wasn't/In the cut, but before it cut, you can feel it coming/Quicker than you ever could've thought without interrupting/Bottle on the floor and now you wishing you didn't touch it" —Skyzoo
"And it got me if I need it to perform when they reaching/If they catch then I know this cape on me if I'm leaking/It'll catch whatever's pouring to the floor before I see it/And it will be the reason your applause run the deepest/And it'll catch whatever might pour from your peoples/Leaning on the top of it/Face on the shoulder of it, looking for the obvious/Pushing for a reason, tryna seek to where the bottom is/Swear it ain't no stopping it" —Skyzoo
"Do you believe, that you could be taught how/To be who you already was before you was bogged down/Like, 'This is what best represents y'all/Nevermind the fact that I've yet to step in your yard or ever been that involved'/Do you believe, in loading the .44 and blowing the corridor for all that you want for/But learning the court of law could never be cornered off/Unless you were one of them, would you just call it off" —Skyzoo