Singled Out: "He Said, 'Yo, If You Ever Needed Me On Anything, Please Let This Be It'"
Tuesday, Feb 5, 2013 2:35PM
[SOHH highlights a hot record each Tuesday and offers a unique look at the track in Singled Out. After Havoc broke down his "Tell Me To My Face" anthem, Brooklyn's Skyzoo decodes his "Spike Lee Was My Hero" single.]
The single "Spike Lee Was My Hero" is one of my favorite records from Dream Deferred. When I write records, I like to come up with my title first. It's just something I've being doing for years and years now.
I'll write down a bunch of song titles on my phone or on a piece of paper, just collecting them and then when it's album time, I like to bring them out. That was just one of those titles I've been sitting on for a while. It just came to me. I loved where I knew I would take it. When I came up with the title, I was like, "Okay, I know where I'm going to take it."
When I finally sat down to do it, the beat just matched up so perfectly with it. I was listening to these beats from Tall Black Guy, who produced it, and when I got to that beat, I was like, "This is it." I knew it was that song title because it felt like superhero music with the horns. It felt like the opening of a superhero flick or a superhero cartoon. It just screamed superhero music. I just knew it was it.
I really didn't have any ideas of putting anybody on the record. That's why there's two verses and then there's a bridge, all from me. I didn't really have any idea of putting anybody else on the record. I was in the studio with Talib Kweli one day, doing some work on his mixtape and when we got finished for the song for his mixtape, he said, "I know you're working on the album, man. Let me give you something."
I had the flash drive on me and I played him a couple of my records and when I got to "Spike Lee Was My Hero," before I even played it, I said, "Yo, this is 'Spike Lee Was My Hero' I'm going to play you." And before I even got to it he said, "Yo, I already love the record and I haven't heard it yet." I said, "Oh, okay. Cool." So I played the record and then when the record was done, he said, "Yo, if you ever needed me on anything, please let this be it."
When he did the verse and I heard how he did it, it just made sense. It was like how it was supposed to happen that way because where I took it was more subliminal and where he took it was more literal. It was the perfect bounce off each other because it wasn't like we both said the same thing.
I don't really talk about Spike in my verses. I talk about the things that were going on around me and I lead up to the hook where I talk about Spike but Kweli kept it kind of literal and talked about going to school at Brooklyn Tech and being in the neighborhood of Fort Greene. He kept it more lyrical which I thought was perfect.
The fanbase Skyzoo has been able to acquire stretches from the street to the workplace to high places, leading to memorable placements: "Popularity" was featured on the seventh season of the HBO hit Entourage; his music was featured in video games NBA2K11 and NBA2K12 (the first artist to be included in the franchise twice), as well as Grand Theft Auto 4: Lost and the Damned; his music has also set the tone for ESPN's KIA NBA Shootaround; and the rapper has a longstanding relationship with Brand Jordan. Skyzoo has toured with Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Pharoahe Monch, Sean Price, and Buckshot, as well as internationally in places like China. He's collaborated with other respected artists including Pete Rock, Hi-Tek, Jake One, Flo-Rida, Maino, Little Brother, EPMD, N.O.R.E, Wale, Talib Kweli, Ace Hood, Sean Price, and Don Cannon.
Check out Skyzoo's "Spike Lee Was My Hero" music video: