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by Andreas Hale
21 September, 2005@12:00 am
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    There are certain emcees that are extremely dope, the problem is, that you never ever get to hear their material. They can easily be placed on the back of a milk carton because we always wonder where they are at. After Skillz dropped From Where??? a decade ago (yes, a decade), hip hop heads everywhere clamored to hear more from the Virginian emcee. But each and every time that it felt like Skillz time was coming (Year End Wrap Ups and his hilarious yet pointless battle with Shaq), it dissipated.  An emcee with so much hype shouldn’t get the short end of the stick, but in this nasty game we call hip-hop, getting the short end of the stick is part of the deal for many. So after his Rawkus debut got shelved, and it was thought that he would never release a second album, Sure Shot Recordings steps up to release Confessions of a Ghostwriter. It’s just not new material, but a culmination of recordings over the past few years. Will it suffice until we get a real album?

    Well one thing is for sure, Skillz is still a lyrical genius. Throughout the album, Skillz has a penchant for the ill concept and the crafty one liners. With his over the phone battle with a hater on “Skillz v. Shaqwan” it is evident that Skillz at times thinks outside of the box. And Skillz punch lines prove to still be potent with the previously released “Y’all Don’t Wanna Do That” produced be a potent Hi-Tek (another “milk carton” member). Skillz laments “Uh huh, I know what y’all niggas thinkin now/He was on TV with Missy, so how the fuck he underground?’/I rep my state from coast to coast/Don’t matter if I’m spittin with Nas or sippin with Mos/I’m explainin shit to y’all geeks/I fucks with Timbaland cuz Timbaland got beats!/And after Ghostwriter came out/Y’all was bitchin and cryin, cuz I ain’t put the names out/Y’all still thinkin I was frontin/And Puff cut a check so I ain’t have to say nothin’.” Two things come to mind – “Damn this kid is still dope” and “Damn this shit is old.”

    It truly is sad that the Skillz and Timbaland (yet another “milk carton” member) combination didn’t pan out because at both of their respective peaks the duo would have been lethal. Nonetheless, Confessions… treats us with a diverse Skillz. Whether he’s participating in a bouncy club track (“Suzie Q”), massacring emcees (“It’s Like That” featuring another “milk carton” member, Danja Mowf), or getting a little introspective (“You Only Get One”), Skillz showcases that he’s still got it, but where it has been lately is the question.

   Although it is good to hear Skillz rip shit up, it just isn’t the album many are expecting. A decade of futility causes many hunger spasms and that hunger cannot be alleviated by an album that is pieced together over the past few years. Sure Skillz is an incredible talent, but will he ever release an album of current material? We’ll just have to wait and see. In the meanwhile we’ll just have to make due with our year end wrap ups.

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