It’s Official! February 13 Is Mad Skillz Day
Twenty-three years ago this week (February 13, 1996), rapper Mad Skillz released his debut album, From Where???. The Big Beat/Atlantic Records title referenced the fact that the artist born Shaqwan Donnie Lewis represented Richmond, Virginia. That city was a new source of talent in the eyes and ears of many Rap fans, and Skillz broke down the wall. He did so on that album with some respected help from Q-Tip, Large Professor, The Beatnuts, Buckwild, and J Dilla.
This week, the city of Richmond and its leader showed gratitude to the MC whose talents have expanded to DJ’ing and academia. This week, Mayor Levar Stoney declared February 13 “Mad Skillz Day” to forever honor Richmond’s Rap pride.
Mayor Stoney proclaims February 13, 2019 as
“Mad Skillz Day” pic.twitter.com/YsMJJXpE6n
— City of Richmond, VA (@CityRichmondVA) February 13, 2019
The proclamation acknowledges that the Detroit, Michigan native made Richmond his home. It recognizes him as “putting Virginia on the Hip-Hop map [and being] the first artist to break out nationally from the state.” It also points to the fact that Skillz has allied himself with other Virginia artists, including Missy Elliott, Timbaland, and The Neptunes. The document recognizes Skillz’ writing for others, producing, DJ’ing, and serving as a recent artist-in-residence at the University Of Richmond.
Last year’s I’m The DJ…And The Rapper creator was honored by the mayor with an official proclamation from the city: “Now, therefore, I, Levar M. Stoney, Mayor of the City Richmond, Virginia do hereby proclaim February 13, 2019, as ‘Mad Skillz Day”’in the city of Richmond and encourage all citizens to celebrate the 23rd year anniversary of his debut album. Mad Skillz has been a positive influence on our city and has paved the way for younger generations to pursue [their] dreams of working in the music industry.”
Additional Reporting by Jake Paine.