Skyzoo Has Released An Entire Album As Snowfall’s Franklin Saint
Skyzoo has been on a tear for the last five years in an already decorated career of elite lyricism and quality album-making. In that time, the Brooklyn, New York veteran MC released In Celebration Of Us, Retropolitan with Pete Rock, and 2021’s stunning All The Brilliant Things. 2020 also included two standout EPs within that clip: The Bluest Note (with band Dumbo Station) and Milestones. In 2019, 2020, and 2021, Skyzoo made albums that were named among Ambrosia For Heads‘ best, respectively.
Well before the latest dose of creativity, Skyzoo has established himself as an MC who enjoys attention-grabbing concepts. He’s made An Ode To Reasonable Doubt, an acclaimed homage to another BK MC’s classic and the self-explanatory “Spike Lee Was My Hero” (who then appeared in the visual). More recently, the artist added a third, unofficial volume to Jay’s “Friend Or Foe” (which has grown harder to find since release). Throughout his catalog, Skyzoo’s music is filled with treasures for those in the know while maintaining accessibility to people simply looking for top-shelf rhymes and dope beats.
On January 13, S-K-Y returned with The Mind Of A Saint. The release positions Skyzoo as “Franklin Saint” from Snowfall. The storyteller creates a companion experience, not unlike JAY-Z’s 2007 American Gangster drop, which coincided with the film of the same name. Skyzoo chooses his spot carefully, as the sixth and final season of FX’s Snowfall begins airing on February 22—nearly four years after the series co-creator John Singleton passed away from complications related to a stroke.
“When making this album, I wanted to do something that creatively pushed a button. Something that served a purpose, while trying to understand both sides of the fence that it represents. The idea of a fictional character, ‘Franklin Saint,’ and what his innermost thoughts could be when dealing with the worlds he’s caught in between. What makes it so intriguing is that his character and his world are mirrors of a time and era that really happened. The birth of one of the world’s most addictive drugs and how its ripple effect took on a life that may seemingly never die,” Skyzoo said in a press statement. “The crack era was one of the worst chapters in Black America’s story. Using the Snowfall series as a vehicle to delve into both sides was truly fascinating as an MC. It’s a project that is layered beyond measure. If you’ve never seen Snowfall, you’ll walk away thinking this is a really great album, but if you’re an avid fan of Snowfall, you’ll truly feel as if ‘Franklin,’ the conflicted boy genius turned millionaire and career criminal truly did pick up a pen and pad to write his life story over a bed of beats. It was one of the most intense projects I’ve ever written. The idea of becoming a fictional character, which represents actual real-life events, making sure to hit every detail, from both the show and our real world, was a writing exercise like no other. I’m honored to have been able to do so, and I’m honored that The Other Guys trusted me to step outside a box, and truly push the envelope with this. Enjoy, and remember, like they told us in the ’80s: Just Say No.”
Across 10 songs and nearly 45 minutes, Skyzoo speaks as “Franklin Saint,” the series protagonist. The MC deftly puts himself in the mind of the character, and raps about the motivations, surroundings, and plot points. The depth and detail are both staggering.
For this LP, Skyzoo teamed with The Other Guys. The production duo of Mighty Joe and Isaiah “Insanate” Mensah follow a rich musical tradition with Sky that includes Pete Rock, !llmind, Apollo Brown, and 9th Wonder, among others. The Washington D.C.-based Other Guys have been putting in work with Skyzoo for years. The songs feature thoughtful interludes, and Pete Rock/DJ Premier-style outro beats at the end. The music chemistry is thick on this release, which has great value even to those not versed with Snowfall.
The album arrives as a joint release between Sky’s First Generation Rich and The Other Guys’ HiPNOTT Records, a veteran indie imprint that also releases music from Tanya Morgan. Outside of music, in the last year, Skyzoo also opened The Burger Bistro, a restaurant now operating in Greater Atlanta.
New music by Skyzoo & The Other Guys is currently featured on the Ambrosia For Heads playlist.
#BonusBeat: Skyzoo’s 2021 interview with AFH‘s What’s The Headline podcast that chronicles his All The Brilliant Things album, fatherhood, and more: