News: "If I Ain't The Best MC From Virginia, Then Who Is?"

Sunday, Jul 24, 2011 10:47PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Rap veteran Skillz has proclaimed his greatness as an emcee by labeling himself the best hip-hop artist to stem from Virginia, even acknowledging homegrown acts like The Clipse.

Confident in his talent, Skillz took to Twitter to proclaim his spot.

"And if I aint the best MC from VA? Then who is? I believe its me...always have.," he tweeted July 24th.
"And I wd say that same statement in the same room w Pusha, Malice, P, & whoever else you can think of. Cuz it really aint that many of us."
"Im from Virginia ni//a! My mindstate is young AI...Ima respect you..but on the court?? Ima try to break ur fkin ankles."
"@SkillzVa n u arent the 3rd best from VA...Pusha Malice Pharrell when Missy drops pls n*gga lk really...shutup<-- n*gga? get a real earring"
"If you in a craft and your not pushing to be the best then what are you really doing? lol" (Skillz's Twitter)

Last summer, Virigina-bred producer Pharrell labeled The Clipse's Pusha T one of hip-hop's best lyricists.

"I think that's gonna be amazing," Pharrell said when asked about Pusha possibly joining Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music. "[Pusha] had been working with 'Ye. I told him, 'You should do that.' We made a lot of great records together, and we'll continue to make great records. I want him to grow and get other experiences out in the world. He's gotta figure that out. He's gotta go out there and see it. Make no mistake, lyrically, that kid is one of the greats -- him and his brother. Lyrically, those guys are really serious. They're well-respected by all of the good dudes. Jay-Z loves them, T.I., Jeezy loves them. All of your favorite rappers, they appreciate a Pusha line or a Malice line. They do. I'm saying with respect for all those artists -- I work with those artists. I know the conversations we had. They like what they do. It's been a long time coming for Pusha and what it is he's trying to do. He's gonna get it. And Malice too." (MTV)

Recently, Warner Bros. Records' rapper Curren$y credited Pharrell for inspiring his #JetLife movement.

Curren$y provides further insight into his success. "I'm big on observing. And it was definitely, shall we say, educational to see certain artists going about building their empires, building their own movements: Pharrell with Star Trak, Cam'ron with Dipset. Fans would hear a beat and be like, 'That sounds like a Neptunes beat,' or 'That sounds like a Dipset joint.' That's how I engineered Jet Life to be. I want it to be branded in a way, so the people know what it is." (Village Voice)

Skillz's run in the rap game stems back nearly two decades.

With a second-place finish (behind Midwest rapper Supernatural) in the freestyle competition at the nation's most prestigious MC seminar in 1995, this aptly named Detroit native turned Virginian demonstrated his limitless verbal potential. The first salvo fired from Mad Skillz (aka Skillz) was the single "The Nod Factor," a lengthy stanza of which appeared as a memorable Hip Hop Quotable in The Source magazine. (All Music)

Check out some recent Skillz footage below:

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