XXL NEWS HIGHLIGHTS ’08: Skillz Weighs In On Tight Jeans Craze, “I Don’t Know What Hipsters Are”

[Editor’s Note: With the new year around the corner, XXLmag.com looks back at some of our greatest stories and video features of 2008.]

Skillz is unapologetic to say the least. Rather than hide it, the Virginia lyricist has embraced his Jansport as evidenced on his forthcoming album, The Million Dollar Backpack due in stores July 22. But Skillz may be the last of a dying breed as the new crop of underground MCs aren’t tagged backpackers, but hipsters.

“I don’t know what hipsters are,” Skillz told XXLMag.com. “I think hipster is a word that somebody who didn’t know what to call the kids who wear their pants a little tighter, a little retro…They didn’t know what to call them, so they called them hipsters.”

“Maybe I’m a little too old to be a hipster,” he continued. “Maybe hipsters are the kids who are 20 and 21. It’s all music, man. I’ve always said from day one, I don’t believe in separating. Either it’s good or it’s bad. Don’t get me wrong, I got a Members Only jacket. You know my sneaker collection is crazy. You know I’m retro on the kicks. Maybe if I messed around and wore some 28 slims I’d be a hipster too.”

Aside from pushing his project, Skillz is still pushing the pen for others. Having crafted songs for everybody from Diddy to Jermaine Dupri, he’s now venturing into R&B.

“I just wrote a record two days ago,” Skillz shared. “I was talking to Chris Brown, I’m trying to get it to Chris Brown. I’m moving into the R&B side as we speak now. I’m definitely not The Dream or Sean Garrett, but I’m definitely trying to get there. The thing about writers who write R&B, they always tell me and other rappers that we are the best R&B songwriters because we have a better play for words.”

“R&B singers don’t care,” he added before switching gears. “Nobody cares if Mary J Blige didn’t write my life. Her audience doesn’t trip over that, because Mary delivered that song. That’s all it’s about, delivering the record.” –Carl Chery

  • http://www.myspace.com/alsween AlSween

    there IS a difference between hipster and backpacker. hipsters wear bright colors and tight pants to be “different” instead of being themselves to be different.

    • Cinsere

      So “backpackers” don’t go for a certain look? The Ecko shirt and baggy army pants are just an accident? I’ve stopped trying to judge or categorize people based on what they wear, because you can have a “hipster” white kid listening to The Chronic or you can have an “emo” kid dancing to Soulja Boy. Wear what you like. Who cares?!

  • The Man

    Skillz album better be crazy cuz his is one of the few albums I even care about this year… I hope it’s all as tight as Don’t Act Like You Don’t Know

  • http://the-drunkmonkey.blogspot.com/ TheDrunkmonkey

    I think that the tight or wild clothes to be different is getting out of hand. I mean wow, I’m from the middle 2 step generation, right in at the tailend of 80′s dancing and got old enough to miss the soldier boy generation…. I just don’t get it…..

    • Penelope Rodriguez

      I was born in the tail of the 80s–’89–and i think soulja boy is an idiot.

      But it’s hard to avoid his music, when you have a sister–born in 1992–who bumps his shit ALL THE FUCKING TIME without being aware of the dumb shit that flies out his mouth

  • 239allday

    Hipsters think they are cool because they are being different and not conforming by wearing tight ass pants. But when you think about they seem like they are the ones who are trying too hard to fit in.

  • Caine

    Skillz album release party is dis Saturday at Paradise Lounge. Million Dollar Backpack…SMH @ tight jeans…

  • JE

    im done with this fuckin magazine, the week before the carter III drops, XXL is dickridin lil wayne giving him his own tab and featuring every one of his fucking promo videos… but the NAS album is droppin and theres not a single word said about the truest most talented rapper droppin the most controversial album rap has seen in a decade

    and yall wonder why hip hop is dying….

    • Nigger…..There I Said It

      Truer words have NEVER been spoken.

  • PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!!

    NAS ALBUM IS HORRIBLE!!!!

    DAVID BANNERS ALBUM IS PATHETIC!!!!!!

    THEY USED THE POLITICS OF THE WAR/ELECTION TO GET US TO BUY THEIR SHIT, IM SO FUCKIN UPSET!!!!! I WANT MY MUTHA FUCKIN MONEY BACK, DEES NIGGAS SUCK!!!

    JUST A WARNING: DONT BUY THEIR SHIT BOOTLEGG DA HELL OUT DAT HO!!!!!!!

    • Dee

      Soulja Boy Eat A Dick..

  • Dee

    I say hipster rappers r some of tha coldest rappers out..
    dont see y ppl r worried bout wat pants there wearin, cuz wat were ppl sayin bout baggy jeans (or still are)..

    N they aint doin it to b different.. thats wat they like, i like “Hipster rap” but i dont wwear tight pants..

  • 11kap

    All you 80s babies are finally getting over the hill. Come on. Life isn’t over yet. Too bad so many of you were clowning your elders. Now, its YOUR TURN. Don’t get mad. Generations skip, so this new breed might have more in common with generation x, my generation, but you won’t see me wearing what they wear or anything. I’m too old for that, but they can chill and be them tho. I don’t mind. I just wish they could pull their pant up over their tails, so I won’t get upset with them. I love the kids, yall……just want the best for everybody.

  • Tony Grand$

    Half the bloggers on these sites r barely old enough to remember when u were almost, sorta-kinda relevant to hiphop, Skillz. U remember bruh, doncha? B4 u dropped the ‘Mad’ from ya name? Ill admit, I bought me a copy of “from where ?!?”. Back when a mixtape was called a blend and was actually made on cassettes. I was backpackin to the fullest, timbs and camo,parkas and beenies, and u were nice. But that was many moons ago. I see u workin on r&b as a positive transition bcuz this is a different day in hiphop. I’m sure ya skills aint gone but that would prolly be a fly re-introduction n2 the music game on a next level. As for the hippie\backpacker whatever that shit is, all I can say is the most different and unique thing in the world is one’s self. That’s some shit u can’t buy off a rack @ Macys. Its cool 2 stick with the trends, its kinda a must, but its all about the individuality inside of the mass appeal of erybody else. Smell it!

  • WUDDLIVE

    I DONT LIKE TIGHT ASS PANTS THAT SHIT WAS IN THE EIGTHIES WHEN WE DIDNT HAVE NO CHOICE AND EVEN THENTHEM NIGGAS DIDNT LOOK GAY.HIPHOP AND GAY DONT MIX,AND I CANT GET MAD CAUSE EVERY GENERATION HAS THEIR OWN STYLE.I GREW UP IN THE GOLDEN ERA OF HIPHOP AND WE WERE THE FLYEST.YOU COULDNT FINISH SCHOOL CAUSE YOU HAD TO FIT IN.POLO,LEVIS,USED JEAN SETS,TOMMY WAS HOT UNTIL HE PUT HIS NAME TO MUCH ON THE CLOTHING,TRUE RELIGIONS -COULDNOT TOUCH THE GUESS JEANS-I DO REMEMBER GUESS MAKING CLOTHES PRIMARILY FOR WOMEN UNTIL THE JEANS TOOK OVER THE 90′S.THE SNEAKERS NOW ARE WACK AND TOO FUCKING BIG AND OKIE.NIKE STILL MAKE HOT SHIT BUT THEY HAVE FALLEN OFF-THE DESIGHNERS ARE WACK-CREATIVITY HAS LEFT THE BUILDING.SERGIO SWEAT SUITS WAS FIRE-BIGGIE HAD ONE ON-CITY BLUE IS WACK-DRDENIM IS COOL THEY HAVE MOST TIGHT SHIT BUT THEY KEEP HOT SHIT TO.THE WOMEN DO WHAT WE DO-IKNOW WOMEN WHO THINK DRESSING TIGHT IS HOT.WEARING YOUR CLOTHES TO FIT YOUR BODY IS ANOTHER THING-I BOUGHT A SHIRT AND I LOOKED SEXY-TO MY GIRL-MY NIGGAS WOULD CLOWN ME

  • http://W WUDDLIVE

    HERE IN PHILLY EVERYBODY SPORTIN THAT TIGHT SHIT-GROWN MEN BUYING SOULJA BOY RECORDS -COMING TO THE CLUB DOING THE SUPER MAN AT 30-WHAT HAPPENNED THE LAST THREE YEARS-I DONT HATE ANYONE-THE DAY WE HAVE A GAY RAPPER AND THEY PROMOTE THAT SHIT’ KILL ME DEAD.I RESPECT PEOPLE IN GENERAL-I DONT LIKE GAY BECAUSE ITS AGAINST NATURE.I DONT LIKE RACSIST.GOD MADE ALL OF US SO IN REALITY HE MADE THEM TO-

  • ACE HU$TLA

    Dem called Nut-Huggers in tha 305.

  • Supreemwun

    Who cares…all I want to know is when Skillz 2008 wrap (rap) up is gonna hit XXL banger section? Skillz always sums up the year with a banger!

  • http://www.rapaveli.com Ambition-1

    I was born in 85 I must admit that I prefer black slacks over anything. I don’t like saggin because it makes you look fuckin retarded. I can’t gt with that tight pants shit because it makes you look gay as fuck. So I’d rather go for the grown man look. Whatever the occasion might be, nothing beats a dress shirt, tie, and black slacks. I like to call it my get money uniform!

    http://www.rapaveli.com

    • macdatruest

      This post is old. look at the original responses. XXL been postin a bunch of old shit latly Im guessin they hurtin… Major loss on the lastest issue? Nobody care about the artists XXL cares about and everybody likes the artists XXL hates. It looks like the end of a run over at XXL Im callin’ it. My prediction is a “fake new” XXL in 09′ which people will criticize just for being different from the usual issues, which is an admission of wackness for about two years now. XXL is so opinionated, it’s like FOX News they say you decide, but really it’s your decision about their opinion. Whether you agree or not doesn’t matter because it won’t get your favorite artists any coverage. I stopped buying XXL about a year ago when they fell in love with beef. Rappers don’t Beef magazines create beef. For example 50 Cent, XXL Magazine has called him a Juggernaut and a Bully and applauds and publicizes his starting of conflicts as “business maneuvers” his rude comments are printed as headlines and labeled “baiting” other artists. It all sounds great, but the problem is, he doesn’t actually touch anybody or physically lay hands on other rappers, and equally- His diss songs never really packed a punch either???? So really, what we have is the magazines and media trying to help create a marketable image at the expense of real GOOD rapper’s careers. -Why cover all these guys? Let’s just cover “The Big Rap Bully” –So is he bullying rap by taking away XXL’s ability to find and cover emerging artist and movements?-is that what makes him a bully? The rappers so-called “careers” he ended are still going strong to everybody, they are just dead coverage wise in XXL. Anything new is D.O.A.(dead on arrival)in XXL.Similar to 50 Cent: His career is dead to everybody else and his “new” shit is D.O.A.- But its still going strong to XXL. A magazine is like this: when you lose the ability to get readers interested in new artists you are “dead” to new artists which makes you finished. When nobody cares to read or be in your magazine, you are The Source. I am probably going to be considered one of the greatest rappers. and already I aint fuckin wit XXL