Ski Mask The Slump God Is on a Path to Self-Made Success

Ski Mask The Slump God is grinding his way to the top.

Words: Caitlin Lopilato

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

The South Florida wave of lo-fi trap is in full effect. Ski Mask The Slump God is one of its most notable pioneers with aggressive, mosh-style hits like “Life Is Short” and “Take A Step Back” that have over 6 million and 26 million respective plays on SoundCloud. The 21-year-old Broward County, Fla. native penned a deal with Republic Records this past May.

Born Stokeley Goulbourne, Ski grew up with his four siblings in the Fort Lauderdale area and bounced between his mother and father’s houses. Life was hard; his mother struggled with her own personal issues and Ski’s father offered less support. While growing up, the Florida rapper decided to get into rap as an escape from life’s daily difficulties. “It was either make this shit work or die trying,” he says. Over time, Ski developed his rhymes by freestyling with neighborhood friends.

At 16, he met XXXTentacion at a Broward Juvenile Detention Center (Ski got caught for what he said was around $10 worth of weed), where they started the Very Rare collective. After being released, the two stayed in touch and over the next five years, focused on building themselves as hip-hop artists. “It was nobody but me, X and our insane thoughts,” states Ski.

By 2015, he started to bubble with his first official song, “Catch Me.” After moderate local success, Ski and X launched the rap collective, Members Only, the same year and released Members Only Vol. 1 and Members Only Vol. 2. Soon the two were booked for local shows and making real noise. “Ski has [turn-up songs] like everybody else, but where he’s different from his counterparts is that he actually has bars,” says Solomon Sounds, Ski’s manager. “He brings lyricism and flows in a time where most people don’t care [about that] anymore.”

Over the past two years, Ski dropped four mixtapes, Drown-In-Designer, Very Rare Lost Files, Slaps For My Drop-Top Mini-Van and You Will Regret, earned a solid following and a record deal. “If anyone doesn’t think I deserve what I’m getting, they’re out of their fucking mind,” Ski says.

With one mixtape on the way, a major label debut album due in 2018, Ski Mask The Slump God’s success has been a self-made one.

Check out more from XXL’s Summer 2017 issue including the cover story with the 2017 XXL Freshman class and our interview with actor Demetrius Shipp Jr.

See New Music Releases for August 2017

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