I put together “Phone Calls” pretty quick. It wasn’t something I was really planning. The only planning with it is I wanted to do something every Tuesday to promote this concert I have coming up called “The Writings of Skyzoo” on February 19th.
So the idea was to just put out a freestyle every week, just put out a new freestyle. The song is really a freestyle because there’s not really a hook on it, slightly at the end, but it was kind of like a freestyle. Even though it’s three minutes, it’s something quick.
The idea was to just do this whole thing on jazz compositions so whether it was a straight up jazz record or a hip-hop beat made with jazz or influenced by jazz, that record was a Madlib beat so obviously it was a hip-hop beat but it’s a flip on a Bobbi Humphrey record.
So Madlib flipped this Bobbi Humphrey record and so that was the jazz connection. The idea was to do a joint over a jazz type of beat or a direct jazz song for the next four weeks. With that one, like I always do, I just wrote. I didn’t really go into it saying, “I’m going to talk about this.” I just write and whatever comes out, comes out. That’s literally what’s going on in my life right now. When I was writing that stuff, I recorded it on Monday and put it out Tuesday, that stuff was going on. The times influence the writing.
This concert is going to be different from anything that I’ve done from thus far. I love performing but as people know from watching my interviews or seeing things written about me, I’m a huge jazz head and I think even more so than hip-hop. This is the first time where I get to incorporate the two together and really put a show together from a Miles Davis standpoint or a John Coltrane standpoint or Bobbi Humphrey standpoint.
The whole thing is going to feel like a jazz show but it’s all of my records that you’ve come to know and love. Everything is going to be done with a live band so expect to see a trumpet, bass,, keyboard, drums, male singer, female singer. It’s like a full ensemble of people onstage and it’s going to be dope.
It’s going to feel like a jazz event. Everyone’s going to be seated, no standing room and it’l be dimly lit.
If I had to describe it, it’s going to feel like VH1: Storytellers. It’s going to feel MTV: Unplugged, where I’m explaining creations, explaining what it meant to me, talk about another record, that’s going to be the vibe. There’s going to be a lot of horn play.
It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years now but I wanted to make sure I had the right venue, people on stage with me, the right records, I wanted everything to be perfect and I feel like right now is the time.
The best place to get tickets is MISTHarlem.com.
The fanbase Skyzoo has been able to acquire stretches from the street to the workplace to high places, leading to memorable placements: “Popularity” was featured on the seventh season of the HBO hit Entourage; his music was featured in video games NBA2K11 and NBA2K12 (the first artist to be included in the franchise twice), as well as Grand Theft Auto 4: Lost and the Damned; his music has also set the tone for ESPN’s KIA NBA Shootaround; and the rapper has a longstanding relationship with Brand Jordan. Skyzoo has toured with Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Pharoahe Monch, Sean Price, and Buckshot, as well as internationally in places like China. He’s collaborated with other respected artists including Pete Rock, Hi-Tek, Jake One, Flo-Rida, Maino, Little Brother, EPMD, N.O.R.E, Wale, Talib Kweli, Ace Hood, Sean Price, and Don Cannon (source).
Check out the “Phone Calls” and the event’s flyer:
- A Harlem Mom Schedules Playdates for 200 (community.constantcontact.com)