Ski Mask The Slump God Proves Why He’s Very Rare – 2018 XXL Freshman Interview
Since arriving on hip-hop's radar in 2015, Ski Mask The Slump God has lived up to the name of his Very Rare movement. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla. rapper has gained a loyal following as a result of his breakneck, breathless flow coupled with witty wordplay, multi-syllable-packed rhymes and a gritty voice that stands out in a genre where mumble rap thrives. When Ski Mask raps, you pay attention to his solid bars and fire lyricism, which is why the 22-year-old artist earned a spot in the 2018 XXL Freshman Class.
With all eyes in his direction, Ski's proclaimed himself the new Jason Voorhees (with vengeance). And depending on what day it is, he can very well be Michael Myers on the mic. The rhymer, born Stokeley Goulbourne, is out here killing it as one of the poster boys for the South Florida rap scene. Just watch his 2018 XXL Freshman freestyle, in which he gives a nod to cartoons The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy and Ed, Edd n Eddy, and flaunts some cowboy-esque antics, to witness Ski's lyrical killing in action. This is super swag rap.
Before he made it to the 2018 XXL Freshman Class, Ski was hitting indie career milestones all on his own. As a teen, he formed his Very Rare collective then teamed up with the late XXXTentacion—the two met in a juvenile detention center when Ski was a teenager—for a number of Members Only releases and dropped his own solo efforts like the Drown in Designer mixtape.
Songs released in the last few years, like "Take a Step Back" featuring former 2017 XXL Freshman XXXTentacion, "Where's the Blow!" with fellow 2018 XXL Freshman Lil Pump and the early gem "Like a Soccer Mom" helped Stokeley average almost a million plays per week on his SoundCloud page early on. Ski's numbers don't lie. Then add in studio time with his favorite producer, Timbaland, meeting and forming a friendship with one of his hip-hop influences, Busta Rhymes, and landing a major label deal with Victor Victor Worldwide/Republic Records in 2017, and life has been treating Ski pretty good these days.
His signature delivery can be heard on his biggest hit to date, "Catch Me Outside"—the song has amassed more than 45 million views on YouTube thanks to the incredible Cole Bennett-directed video and 58 million streams on Spotify. The track proved his ability to add his own spin on a classic Timbaland beat (taken from Missy Elliott's "She's a Bitch") while giving his generation of fans a history lesson in some classic hip-hop production. Ski credits the track as his biggest career-changing moment.
"The song that's mostly changing my career or made the biggest impact on my career would be 'Catch Me Outside,'" Ski tells XXL. "Mainly because it hit YouTube and that was like my first-ever video so people never really seen what I looked like or knew exactly what I was about so that was like the first taste of what they got. And then the energy is undeniable in that video also."
With mixtapes YouWillRegret and Beware the Book of Eli in his catalog—"DoIHaveTheSause?," one of his newest bangers from Beware the Book of Eli, just received a wavy Cole Bennett-directed visual—collaborations with the likes of the late XXXTentacion and A$AP Ferg, and Instagram caption-worthy lyrics aplenty ("I feel like a Gucci ad-lib, brrr"), the Very Rare leader has amassed a cult-like following in just a few short years. By any means, fast or slow, Ski Mask The Slump God is taking his career to new heights in 2018.
Now, with his current title as a 2018 XXL Freshman, Ski has some big plans. "With my XXL title I plan to drop some videos now," he shares. "Get ready for some visuals ’cause y'all been bothering me, fans been bothering me and harassing me about that. Just expect the unexpected I guess."
He also wants to launch his own record label and provide a solid space for his group, Very Rare. "My next goals would be definitely to start on either a label or keep getting myself together more," he states. "I eventually want to get—’cause I have a group called Very Rare —I eventually want to get a big house for ’em and then like start from there and make sure everybody is on their shit."
Watch Ski Mask The Slump God open up about his rise to the 2018 XXL Freshman class and sauce it up in his freestyle below.
See Photos of Ski Mask The Slump God Behind the Scenes at the 2018 XXL Freshman Class Cover Shoot