With fans still rewinding his new “2011 Rap Up” in their music playlists, SOHH reached out to rap veteran Skillz to see what motivated him to continue his annual tradition heading into the new year.
Briefly explaining the delay behind last year’s “2010 Rap Up,” Skillz dished out the importance of his traditional year’s end hip-hop record.
“Last year, I was really into some other things,” Skillz told SOHH, “I was touring, I had a big gig on New Year’s Eve , so I didn’t get it done before then and I knew I wasn’t going to get it done on New Year’s Eve and put it up out and so people were going ham. You gotta understand something. Every year right after Thanksgiving when that Sunday comes around, people get back to their cribs and they’re all full, that’s when they start hitting me like, ‘I know you’re gonna do a ‘Rap Up’ this year.’ Just as much as it is a tradition for me to make the song, people hitting me up asking me about the song has become just as much as a tradition as the song. Just as you expect the ‘Rap Up,’ I expect to get the sh*t bugged outta me from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve about the ‘Rap Up.'” (SOHH)
Skillz also acknowledged some hip-hip heads labeling him as only the “Rap Up” rapper but said each year brings new fans.
“But you know what, man,” Skillz added, “when I look back at it, my first album came out in 1996 and I’m still here and I’m still making quality music. There’s still a demand for certain things that I do and there’s a lot of dudes that came out around that time that are nowhere to be found and I appreciate the fact that people are still checking for it. It don’t take me long to do it. It is what it is. I know there’s fans that only know me as the ‘Rap Up’ guy, I get it, but then there’s people who are like, ‘Oh, I didn’t know he had an album called The World Needs More Skillz‘ and ‘Oh, he’s got a track with Travis Barker. I like that joint!’ They start going back into my catalogue. It’s funny because every time the ‘Rap Up’ comes out, I see a spike in my sales on my other material. So it’s all about getting new fans. I’m appreciative every year.” (SOHH)
On his new record, the Virginia-bred emcee throws mentions of Hollywood actor Charlie Sheen, reality star hottie Kim Kardashian and television veteran Oprah Winfrey.
“Well excuse me, take a few minutes to mellow out, your boy Skillz on the mic back to tell about, the year 2011, who else gonna spit it to you, since you keep asking, I guess ‘I’m gonna give it to you’,” Skillz raps in the song’s intro, “The year started off with predictions galore/With birds falling out the sky and fish washing ashore/Great, what a way to start the race/Then Gucci Mane gets an ice cream tatted on his face/You thinking about a face tat, reconsider, because Ciara got played, by Rihanna on Twitter/Kim K proved she can hardly sing, and we all got caught up in the madness of Charlie Sheen — Oprah though, she went out like a pro, kept it real classy for her very last show/Got her own network, but that’s moving kinda slow, the moral of the story, be careful what you ask for.” (“2011 Rap Up”)
Along with highlighting Twitter beef as a popular theme of last year, he also paid his respect to late entertainers Heavy D and Amy Winehouse on “2011 Rap Up.”
“Every girl in the world went crazy when Beyonce announced she was having her baby,” Skillz continues, “That’s power, but ladies you can calm down/It’s not like you’re getting invited to her baby shower/Kim K, said the wedding wasn’t fake/But marriage? That was shorter than the East Coast earthquake/And yeah, we watched the Throne but Lil Wayne‘s jeggings, man them pants had a life of they own/A couple Twitter beefs got escalated, but the best one was Ray J and Fab in Vegas — Technology full blown ’cause if you don’t have an iPhone, well, you don’t have an iPhone/RIP to Steve Jobs for sure, ’cause that’s how you change the world before you go/Conrad Murray though, hit with fines and found guilty, he gonna have to do that time/Herman Cain rocked out and dropped out, the NFL dodged it but the NBA, had a lockout/That threw the season off course, d*mn Kobe, no prenup, now divorce — A lot of deaths this year, it was a shame to see, from Amy Winehouse to my man Heavy D, we lost a lot of people to say the least/They will all be missed, may they rest in peace/Y’all take care of yourselves and make sure you celebrate life in 2012.” (“2011 Rap Up”)
Check out “2011 Rap Up” below: