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Skillz Raps Up Hip-Hop’s Golden Age With A Tribute To H.E.R.

For over 20 years, MC/DJ/academic Skillz helped Hip-Hop process its yearly legacy through his Rap Up verses, which typically arrive in late December or early January. In a milestone year, Hip-Hop's 50th anniversary, the Richmond, Virginia veteran takes it a step further, with a song produced by The Roots. Skillz... Read more

Skillz Has Released His 20th & Final Rap Up

In recent years, Skillz continues to diversify. The Virginia mainstay has expanded from elite lyricist (and longtime ghostwriter) to DJ. He maintains a role in academia, working with the University Of Richmond faculty. During the 25 years since From Where???, the MC created Hip-Hop Confessions, building a platform for peers... Read more

Conway The Machine Collides With DJ Premier For Something That’s Nothin’ Less Than Dope

Last Friday (September 11), Conway The Machine released his third project of 2020. Following March's Alchemist-produced LULU and May's Ghost LTD-helmed No One Mourns The Wicked, the Buffalo, New Yorker steps forth with From A King To A God. In one of the busiest seasons in Hip-Hop history, Griselda continues the... Read more

Skillz Raps Up 2019 & He Does It With 20/20 Vision (Audio)

For many Hip-Hop Heads, New Years is not a holiday without Mad Skillz. The Richmond, Virginia veteran MC (and DJ) closes the book on 2019 with a tradition that nearly goes back to Y2K. The "2019 Rap Up" is here, just ahead of many fans' celebrations, reflection, and ringing in... Read more

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... Read more

It’s A Rap. Skillz Calls It Like It Was In 2018 (Audio)

Honoring a tradition that is nearly 20 years old, Skillz sums up the year that was with a rap. Long before any ball drops commemorating the arrival of 2019, the Virginia veteran MC (and DJ) makes sense of a complicated year in Hip-Hop and the world at large. The song... Read more

Skillz Is Back And He’s Bringing Mad FUNK (Video)

It's been four years since Skillz (aka Mad Skillz) has dropped a project, but that doesn't mean that the renowned MC/DJ has not been active. Late last year, it was announced that he’d be an artist-in-residence at the University of Richmond (near where he grew up) starting this year. It's... Read more

Uncle Murda Rates Skillz’ Diss A 1 Out Of 10. So How Does His Response Measure Up? (Audio)

Last week (January 3), veteran Virginia lyricist Skillz dropped a significant and scathing diss towards Brooklyn, New York MC Uncle Murda. The impetus was a two-year-old dispute surrounding the concept of "Year End Raps." Skillz alleged that in late 2015, Murda (who now uses the name "Lenny Grant" on records)... Read more

Skillz Sets Off 2018 By Dissing Uncle Murda For Copying His Rap Up Concept (Audio)

For Hip-Hop Heads, the last days of the year have long belonged to an annual Skillz song. For nearly two decades, the Virginia MC, DJ, and the University Of Richmond's Artist In Residence has deftly created his "Year End Rap" at the close of the calendar. Many followers of the... Read more

Skillz Becomes Artist In Residence At University Of Richmond

When he named his 1996 debut From Where???, Mad Skillz knew he was putting his city of Richmond, Virginia on the Hip-Hop map. More than 20 years later, following acclaimed work with J Dilla, The Beatnuts, Large Professor, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and others, Skillz is one of his city and... Read more

House Shoes Offers A Free-Form Mix Featuring Skillz, Wu-Tang Clan & Ohio Players (Mix)

Detroit, Michigan-to-Los Angeles, California DJ mainstay House Shoes is as versatile as they come. The longtime right-hand man to J Dilla kicks off a new series with Dublab called "Magic." Last month's inaugural edition features House Shoes pullin' out cuts new and old, ranging from Kendrick Lamar and D'Angelo, to... Read more

Skillz’ Storytelling Is Vivid On This Bigger Than Life Track By BINK! (Audio)

A master of freestyles and concept tracks, sometimes it can be easy to overlook Skillz (f/k/a Mad Skillz) straightforward songs. However, one fast revisit of From Where??? and it's apparent that the Richmond, Virginia MC has many clubs in his bag of tricks. Currently doing a European arena run (as... Read more

A Year Isn’t A Year Until Skillz’ Wraps It Up With His Rap. 2014, Salute! (Audio)

In less than 48 hours, 2014 is in the bag. Even though he reportedly swore he wouldn't do it anymore a few years back, Skillz pleased the people with a signature "Rap Up." For 2-0-1-4, the Virginia MC chronicles everything, from the lighter hearted (Rick Ross' weight loss, Pharrell's takeover,... Read more

All Skillz’s Favorite Rappers Are Dead and Hip-Hop is Not the Same (Audio)

Skillz's new song "All My Favorite Rappers Are Dead" is more than an ode to Hip-Hop's fallen soldiers. Instead, it's a longing for the days of yore when Rap meant something to him. He misses "'89 Rakim," the "early Ice Cube," the Kanye with "no fame" and so much more... Read more

Skillz Shuts Down The Competition With A Freestyle WHILE DJ’ing (Video)

Most Heads know that Skillz is a microphone monster. But did you know that the Virginia native is a sharp DJ too? After years of rolling with DJ Jazzy Jeff on the road, the onetime Rawkus Records artist returns to Sway In The Morning for a second straight day. After... Read more

Skillz Is A Supafriendz Alum & Freestyle Legend, So Sway Had To Put Him On The Spot (Video)

Back in those days when he was From Where???, (Mad) Skillz belonged to the Supafriendz, a Virginia massive including Danja Mowf, Lonnie B, and Kalonji The Immortal. This posse got some of its biggest exposure thanks to the aforementioned 1996 album, and a few compilations and singles. However, freestyle enthusiasts... Read more

DJ Clark Kent Says There Are No Lies On Jay Z’s Reasonable Doubt (Video)

After a titillating first chapter, Hip-Hop Wired returns with a second segment of "Off The Record" with DJ Clark Kent. HHW's Aqua Boogie asks Clark about a more obscure cut, in Mad Skillz' (n/k/a Skillz) 1995 single, "Move Ya Body." Interestingly enough, while LL Cool J had hoped to swack... Read more

Ever Wanted To See DJ Jazzy Jeff Grumpy? Catch Him On A Travel Day With No Sleep (Video)

DJ Jazzy Jeff is one of Hip-Hop's friendliest guys. Like his music video persona for almost 30 years, the West Philadelphia native is big on smiles, jokes, and a cool, calm, pleasant demeanor. However, the latest episode of "Vinyl Destination" finds Skillz, Rich Medina, and Jeff a bit browbeat from... Read more