Skyzoo Speaks to the Youth on ‘Music For My Friends’
Since his big break in 2006 with the collaborative EP Cloud 9: The 3 Day High with 9th Wonder, Skyzoo has established himself as respectable MC in the independent scene. His countless mixtapes and critically-acclaimed albums have earned the Brooklyn MC co-signs from the biggest names in the underground and a chance to tour the world. After connecting with fellow Brooklyn native Torae on on his last release, 2014's Barrel Brothers, Skyzoo is back and ready to take listeners down memory lane with his nostalgic project, Music For My Friends.
On Skyzoo's third solo LP, the Duck Down Music affiliate finds himself traveling back to his teenage years and recounting his memories of adolescence with his closest friends and family in their Bed-Stuy neighborhood. Skyzoo's storytelling and introspective cadence on Music For My Friends invites listeners to get a vivid picture of the vision the MC had from his brownstone stoop on St. James Place, just down the block from The Notorious B.I.G.'s old stomping grounds.
The production of the LP is superb, providing plenty of scope for Skyzoo to pour his soul from an eclectic cast of beatmakers, as well as some familiar faces that Sky has worked with in the past, such as !llmind, Thelonious Martin, MarcNfinit and more. They do a great job of providing nostalgic boom bap beats fused with jazz elements, offering a laid-back vibe that resonates well under the entire project.
As with every offering from Skyzoo, his lyricism and imagery helps to bring the listener into his stories, this time speaking from the perspective of a 13-year-old kid trying to find his place in the world. Standout tracks such as "Suicide Doors" and "Civilized Leisure" highlight the personal exploration of a young BK MC as he deals with separating the righteous from the wrong. Feature-wise, Skyzoo keeps it to a minimum, but his few guest spots do the project justice. On the laid-back "Money Makes Us Happy," Skyzzo is joined by Black Thought as both MC's exchange bars about the value of money and the happiness it brings to the people while Bilal ties the track together on the hook. Another great feature comes courtesy of Jadakiss, who joins Sky on "See A Key (Ki')," a track that features Skyzoo and Mr. Raspy spitting about the visions they see in their dreams while providing motivational bars over the production of the Thelonious Martin.
Overall, Music For My Friends is another solid offering from Skyzoo that hip-hop purists will appreciate. From the sequencing of the album to the production, Skyzoo's new LP highlights his ability to create conceptual albums that offer a breath of fresh air in today's musical climate. —Roger Krastz