SKYZOO
The Salvation
(Jamla/Duck Down)

Over the past few years, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, MC Skyzoo has made quite a name for himself, thanks to his 2006 9th Wonder–collaborative album, Cloud 9: The 3 Day High, and well-conceived mixtapes like 2007’s Corner Store Classic. Now he finally unveils his proper debut, The Salvation, where the nimble lyricist employs metaphor-driven verses to exhibit music’s saving graces.

On “For What It’s Worth,” Skyzoo contemplates working a day job in lieu of falling for the streets’ allure, spittin’, “There’s too much money in cocaine for me to be playin’ the broke game/Or at a 9 to 5 with no-names.” Then he briefly turns to hustling on “The Necessary Evils,” before culminating his journey from the block to the top on “Maintain.” Undoubtedly, lyrics remain Sky’s calling card, but he wisely enlists a balanced set of producers, like Just Blaze (“Return of the Real”), Illmind (“Dear Whoever”) and 9th Wonder (“Under Pressure”), for the album’s standout selections.

Not every moment is praiseworthy, however. On “Easy to Fly,” he succumbs to cliché: “Let me Birkin your bag, Giuseppe your Nikes/And G4 you for the rest of your life,” while the wordy “Bottom Line” ultimately becomes indigestible. Still, overall, Skyzoo’s first official effort is a good look for fans in need of a little salvation. —JAEKI CHO