For an artist to title his debut, The Salvation, means he feels he can deliver strictly high-quality music. With several mixtapes and features under his belt, Skyzoo [click to read] has had the experience to work several angles to hone his craft. When given the chance to spit, he had the predisposition to give the audience good lyrics and a distinct flow that was covered in the reality of it all. With all that prep work, he uses The Salvation to hold no punches, and for that, he delivers just what the title claims.
Many of us bask in the glory of the artist we listen to. We enjoy when Jay-Z [click to read] gives us stories of cruising in St. Tropez with the “baddest” in the game, wearing his chain. Skyzoo goes a different direction, and this is noticeable from the intro, “The Opener.” The album begins with humble gospel singing, not in a church, but on a street corner. It is a good primer on just how this album decides to give you its story. It gently slides into a dicey piano, and a pliable bass line that seems to merge with his rhyme scheme. Skyzoo’s delivery is all-the-way genuine, and it resonates through the hook ”24/7, 365, 25 years, embedded in these lines / If I push the pen past the margin in these side / You can feel the words and ever part of them is I.
If no where else, anyone doubting Skyzoo’s sincere delivery can lose their cynicism on the albums single, “The Beautiful Decay”. The track, laced with 9th Wonder’s [click to read] succinct sampling, already is given a gritty boom-bap sound. Skyzoo laces the track, weaving in and out of life, painting a picture of the urban existence through his own eyes. Within lies poetry that cuts deep into the lifestyle many of us, as “The authentic, the scriber for everyone who subscribes to dollar shots of henny, chicken wings and fries.” It lacks the extravagant, and keeps it straight no chaser.
The album features production of the same kind, with 9th Wonder helming the project with four tracks. There are some other pretty popular names contributing to the project, including Just Blaze, Illmind, Nottz, and Best Kept Secret. There are plenty of different apporaches that are covered with the album, from the samples to the original production, and it all fits the profile of good boom-bap production. Unlike many albums, there isn’t a hint of lazy production – something that only a few LPs can claim.
Skyzoo helms this project on his own. There are no features from other rappers, which for most rappers can lead to danger zones. However, he keeps the album trim enough so while listening you don’t tire of his voice.
There are a few hiccups that freeze this from perfection. “Easy to Fly” is the closest song that comes to filler. The production is serviceable by 9th Wonder, however, Carlitta Durand singing can dig a little too much. It doesn’t quite mesh, and it makes the crooning based song mediocre at best. Black Milk's production on “Penmanship” has a weird baseline that takes some getting used to. It doesn’t ruin the song, but it does take away from it.
For those in love with the true school, worry not, there are still products that can chip away from the cynicism that lackluster products from both the underground and mainstream. With its creative production, crafty lyrics, and most important, Skyzoo's penchant for delivering earnest rhymes wrapped in powerful humanity, The Salvation is enough to keep you on high, at least until his next release.