Thirty Three Jones | Desktop Site
Mad Skillz - Soulquarians Visual DJ Set

Depending on your age, the first thought when you hear the name "Mad Skillz" might conjure up any of the following:
  • Legendary battle rapper who went up against the likes of Supernatural and MF Grimm
  • The originator of the VA rap scene with his first album, From Where????
  • The guy who rapped over that baby crying in the background of Aaliyah's Are You That Somebody
  • Creator of the year-end Rap Up Freestyles (and the guy who destroyed Uncle Murda after Murda jacked the whole Rap Up concept)
  • DJ Jazzy Jeff's hype man
  • Tour DJ for Nicki Minaj

  • Skillz has been one of my favorite emcees since I first heard the Nod Factor as an impressionable college freshman who, up until that point, had been unconvinced that there was anyone outside of NY or LA worth listening to. Until recently I was unaware of his turn towards DJing, but appparently he got into it near the end of his working relationship with Jazzy Jeff. He began teaching himself to DJ, and eventually went on tour with Nicki Minaj. The above audio/visual mix is his latest bit of work, featuring songs that were recorded at the legendary Electric Lady Studios (at the behest of D'Angelo) during the late 90's by the "Soulquarian" collective: Q-Tip, Dilla, The Roots, Common, Mos Def, D'Angelo, Erykah Badu, and Talib Kweli (and probably a couple of other names I'm neglecting).

    If you're interested in hearing Skillz break down his path to dj'ing in more detail, his appearance on the Reflections of a DJ Podcast is worth a listen. He talks about his falling out with Jazzy Jeff, his reaction to releasing his debut album on the same day that Fugees' The Score and Tupac's All Eyez on Me dropped, getting a beat that Biggie wanted and then sampling Biggie on that same song, and his semester as a Professor. Check it out:

    It would be a crime to post about Mad Skillz and not included his classic neck breaker:

    Mad Skillz - The Nod Factor

    For more from Skillz, head over to his site.
2/5/2019 7:00:03 pm posted by Fresh