skyzoo.jpgSince the late ’90s, there’s been a rift between grimy street-hop (think D-Block) and the backpack boogie purists gravitate to (think Black Star). Brooklyn’s Skyzoo is on a mission to bridge that gap on his new mixtape, Corner Store Classic.

Combining the best of both DJ worlds, Sky enlists underground advocate Mick Boogie to mix the CD and street sweeper Kay Slay to host. On “Cop-N-Go,” Sky gets the assist from mixtape murderers Maino and Stimuli to talk about copping everything from guns to groceries at the “ghetto-ass version of the Target.” The anti-backpack movement continues on “You Already Know (Remix),” where 9th Wonder provides the bang for Sky and Sean Price to talk tough about “toolies gettin’ blown” and “movin’ with the chrome.”

SK keeps firing on a repetitive Ron Browz half-bar horn loop on “Ride Out,” describing his style of rhyme as “something like filet mignon and fried rice, meaning I’m on my upper shit but still on my gutter shit.” Sky earns his underground cred, though, by putting his own stamp on beats from Ghostface, the Artifacts, Dilla and Pete Rock. On “Straighten It Out,” he updates Pete and CL’s classic to pop a little more shit about his MC status.

Although he’s not all the way there yet, SK definitely establishes himself as an unsigned force to be reckoned with. —TIMMHOTEP AKU