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Skyzoo - Skyzoos 3 Day High On Cloud 9
Contributed by: Todd E Jones aka New Jeru Poet
Source: The Elements
Posted on: December 11, 2006 08:13 MST
Filed under: Rap


The moment when the chemistry of making music perfectly works, the musicians feel a high. The rhythmic connections of mind, body, and emotion transcend the moment and transfers to the listeners. In the similar dynamic of Eric B. & Rakim and Guru & Premier, a DJ and emcee prove the euphoric effects of musical chemistry. 9th Wonder and Skyzoo created an entire album of 12 songs in only 3 days. “Cloud 9: The 3 Day High” by Skyzoo & 9th Wonder proves multiple facts. The album proves that a single producer can still make an exceptional album. A single emcee does not need any guests. “Cloud 9: The 3 Day High” by Skyzoo & 9th Wonder may not be as well known as “The Minstrel Show” by Little Brother, but the album is a precious find in the hip-hop wilderness.

9th Wonder (of Little Brother) has been earning critical acclaim and opportunities ever since “The Listening” LP was released. Little Brother’s “The Minstrel Show” actually lived up to the hype. 9th Wonder’s signature production could also be heard on two albums by Murs. Buckshot’s “Chemistry” album was totally produced by 9th Wonder. The North Carolina producer created tracks for Jean Grae, Hot Karl, Jay-Z, De La Soul, M.O.P., The Strange Fruit Project, Sean Price, and more.

Straight from New York City, Skyzoo was very fortunate to be blessed with 9th Wonder’s assistance. Skyzoo has paid his dues, but “Cloud 9: The 3 Day High” is his very first release. Unknown to many hip-hop fans, Skyzoo has gained some fame with his connection to 9th Wonder. With an album this solid, fans have high expectations of his future work.

TODD E. JONES: “What goes on?”

SKYZOO:  “Chilling, man.”

TODD E. JONES: “Your first release, ‘Cloud 9: The 3 Day High’ was released on Traffic Entertainment. Tell us about it.”
SKYZOO: “Well, originally, I was going to release it on my own, but word about the album leaked out and a bidding war started between indie labels. Traffic won the bid.”

TODD E. JONES: “The whole album, ‘Cloud 9: The 3 Day High’ was completed in only 3 days with 9th Wonder producing every single song. Was the entire album made together in the studio?”

SKYZOO:  “The album is me and 9th Wonder, collaborating for the entire project. We did 12 songs in 3 days. It all came about because I was bored with music. So, 9th and I started recording. Before we knew it, we were done. The majority of it was done on my own. The final stage of the album had 9th and I, together in the lab.”

TODD E. JONES: “What song on the ‘Cloud 9: The 3 Day High’ album took the longest to complete? Why?”

SKYZOO:  “All of them were done in like 30 minutes or so, a piece. None of them took long at all, actually. I'm a fast writer. When you have someone like 9th behind you, it makes it that much easier. Those beats send a rush through me. I write even quicker than before.”

TODD E. JONES: “How did you hook up with 9th Wonder for this album? What was he like to work with, as opposed to other producers? How is his production style different?”

SKYZOO:  “I met 9th and the whole Justus League through my man, Chaundon. He introduced me to them about a year and a half ago. It's been love ever since. 9th Wonder is an extremely quick worker. That's one thing that we have in common. We're both quick. His beats are 100% soulful and he can make something to cater to anyone, but still have that signature 9th Wonder sound. He's an incredible talent.”

TODD E. JONES: “Do you have a favorite track on the ‘Cloud 9: The 3 Day High’ LP? Why?”

SKYZOO:  “I think my favorites are ‘The Bodega’, ‘You & Me’, and ‘Live & Direct’. They all describe me to the fullest. As far as where I'm from, what I go through, and who I am. They give a good glimpse as to the type of person and artist I am.”

TODD E. JONES: “When creating a track, do you have a set theme and pre-written lyrics, or do you start with an idea or the music first? Was your creative process different for ‘Cloud 9: The 3 Day High’ than other times you made music?”

SKYZOO:  “I write everything in the studio, on the spot. I don't go in with pre-written lyrics or anything. Everything I do is inspired by the beat. The beats tell me what to write about. I hear the beat, come up with a concept, and then, I go in. My creative process was the same with this project as any other one.”

TODD E. JONES: “The album, ‘Cloud 9: The 3 Day High’ has a myriad of references to hustling and drug-dealing. Do you find that lifestyle difficult to leave that life behind?”

SKYZOO:  “It's not difficult to leave things behind. It's difficult to forget things. I only write about what I know, what I've seen, what I've done, et cetera. I don't glorify anything negative. I have tons of family, friends, and people I care about, who have been affected by drugs and things that go on in urban America. So, I speak on it. That's all.”

TODD E. JONES: “How did you hook up with Traffic Records?”

SKYZOO:  “They found me when word about the project leaked out and they came to the table.”

TODD E. JONES: “What other labels were you considering?”

SKYZOO:  “There were like two other indies. I can't really name them, but they were both great labels.”

TODD E. JONES: “What is the meaning behind your name, Skyzoo?”

SKYZOO:  “My middle name is Skyler, which is what my family calls me. Skyler or Sky for short. There was a disco group named Skyy that had a song called ‘Skyyzoo’ and it was a big hit. My fam used to sing that to me and that became a nickname. So, I stuck to that when I started rhyming.”

TODD E. JONES: “What is your favorite part of your live show?”

SKYZOO:  “Watching the crowd recite what I spit onstage. The reaction is great. I love crowd participation.”
TODD E. JONES: “What is the biggest mistake you have made in your career?”

SKYZOO:  “I don't see any mistakes. I think everything is a learning experience. I don't really believe in regrets. Everything I do is a learning experience.”

TODD E. JONES: “On the song, ‘Power, Money And Influence’ from Guru’s ‘Version 7.0: The Street Scriptures’ album, Talib Kweli remarks that Pro-Tools made producers lazy. Do you agree?”

SKYZOO:  “Nah. I think good producers are good producers. Regardless of if they use Pro-Tools or not, talent is talent.”

TODD E. JONES: “Who are some producers you would like to collaborate with in the future?”

SKYZOO:  “Well right now, I have a lot of producers who are big like 9th Wonder, Khrysis, Illmind, and Black Milk. I have already worked closely with them. But, as far as people who I haven't worked with, I'd love to work with Premo, Timbaland, Just Blaze, and Dr. Dre.”

TODD E. JONES: “Who are some artists you would like to collaborate with in the future?”

SKYZOO:  “I like Jeezy, Clipse, T.I., Guilty Simpson, Elzhi, and 50 Cent. Those are all people I definitely wouldn't mind collaborating with throughout my career.”

TODD E. JONES: “Although your collaboration with 9th Wonder has created opportunities for you, do you find that people are automatically expecting another 9th Wonder collaboration? Has anyone not accepted your work if 9th Wonder was not involved?”

SKYZOO:  “People are anxious to hear a ‘Cloud 9’ sequel, but I'm not sure if it's going to happen. People don't turn away from my music if it isn't affiliated with 9th because I had 5 mix-tapes out before I wrote ‘Cloud 9’. I had already had beats from producers like Needlz, Khrysis, Illmind, Dame Grease, and Bangladesh. So, I already had a fan base. 9th just gave me an even bigger one.”

TODD E. JONES: “What LPs have you been listening to during the last couple of days?”

SKYZOO:  “I have been listening to a lot of jazz. I love jazz, like Miles Davis and John Coltrane. I love jazz. As far as hip-hop, nothing is really grabbing me, at the moment. I have been bumping the Lupe album. I'm really looking forward to Jay-Z’s new disc and Clipse’s new disc.”

TODD E. JONES: “What was the last incident of racism you experienced?”

SKYZOO:  “Last week, getting on an elevator and having a middle aged white man seem uncomfortable. He looked me up and down. This was bad because I have tons of white friends. One of my best friends, DJ Nyce is white. He's my engineer and he records, mixes, and masters all of my music.”

TODD E. JONES: “Where were you on the September 11th terrorist attack? How did you handle it?"

SKYZOO:  “I was in college. I had a hard time with it, just like everyone else.”

TODD E. JONES: “Where did you go to college? Did you graduate? Looking back, what did you think of your college experience?”

SKYZOO: “Farmingdale in New York. I majored in English. I didn't graduate, but I had a good time in college. Majoring in English helped me, musically. I can write in ways that others in hip-hop can't, because I have a wider range in vocabulary, speech, and thought.”

TODD E. JONES: “Word association. When I say a name of a name, you say the first word that pops into your head. So, if I said, ‘Flava Flav', you may say ‘Clock’, ‘Crack’, or ‘The Surreal Life’. Okay?”

SKYZOO:  “Cool.”

TODD E. JONES: “Little Brother.”

SKYZOO:  “Incredible.”


SKYZOO:  “Greatest.”

TODD E. JONES: “Common.”

SKYZOO:  “Intelligent.”

TODD E. JONES: “Kaze.”

SKYZOO:  “Hot.”
TODD E. JONES: “Mos Def.”

SKYZOO:  “One of my favorites.”

TODD E. JONES: “Sadat X.”

SKYZOO:  “Classic.”

TODD E. JONES: “Atmosphere.”

SKYZOO:  “Not too familiar with his work, but I'd love to hear it. Cool name.”

TODD E. JONES: “J Dilla.”

SKYZOO:  “The G.O.A.T. Words cannot describe him. My hero, my inspiration.”

TODD E. JONES: “Eminem.”

SKYZOO:  “Lyrical genius.”

TODD E. JONES: “George Bush.”

SKYZOO:  “*sshole.”

TODD E. JONES: “In The Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius writes, ‘It's my belief that history is a wheel…. Rise up on my spokes if you like but don't complain when you're cast back down into the depths. Good time pass away, but then so do the bad. Mutability is our tragedy, but it's also our hope. The worst of time, like the best, are always passing away.’ What works of art, literature, or songs helped you maintain?”

SKYZOO:   “John Coltrane & Miles Davis help me maintain, as far as songs. Literature-wise, it would be novels by Donald Goines and The Bible.”

TODD E. JONES: “Would you consider yourself a spiritual person?”

SKYZOO:   “Yea, not religious though. Just spiritual.”

TODD E. JONES: “What are some major misconceptions do you think people have of you?”

SKYZOO:  “None yet. Because I'm new, people don't have the option to conceive me but in so many ways.”

TODD E. JONES: “Do you think success and credibility are mutually exclusive?”

SKYZOO:   “I think everyone has the ability to be successful, but it depends on how they go about it. The way the game is now, people can take away that opportunity before you get the chance to exercise it. Credibility is multi-faceted, but the industry tends to only look at it in one form. So, it's a tough battle, but success and credibility aren't too exclusive.”

TODD E. JONES: “Recently, what is a typical day like for you?”

SKYZOO:   “Wake up, eat, shower, and hit the net! My whole career is growing on the strength of the net, like MySpace, blogs, websites, and mp3’s. That's where my 9 to 5 is. And, I hit the studio at night. Then, I promote at clubs, parties, showcases, et cetera. I sleep for about 3 hours a night.”

TODD E. JONES: “Tell us about your next album.”

SKYZOO:  “My next album will be my official debut, my official major label first album. ‘Cloud 9’ was just a buzz starter. ‘The Salvation’ is my official debut. It's going to be real conceptual. It's my life in 70 minutes or so.”

TODD E. JONES: “Who will be handling the production on ‘The Salvation’ LP? Will you have any guests?”

SKYZOO:  “Production-wise, it's 9th Wonder, Khrysis, Illmind, Black Milk, Hasan Insane, DJ Mills, and a few big names who I'm linking up with soon. As far as guests, I don't really want any because no one can tell the Skyzoo story better than Skyzoo. I'm a have my Custom Made on there for sure though.”

TODD E. JONES: “Final words?”    

SKYZOO:  “Keep the music authentic. There's no such thing as positive rap or negative rap. As long as it's from the soul and it's real, it's hip-hop. This culture was built on speaking or minds, hearts, and experiences, whether so-called wrong or right.  And log on to www.myspace.com/skyzoo.”


Interview by Todd E. Jones aka New Jeru Poet

NOTICE: This interview is property of Todd E. Jones and cannot be duplicated or posted without written permission.
Skyzoo MySpace Page:

9th Wonder page:

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