By P80 Parks
Skunkz is in the early stage of his career, evident in his hunger and work ethic, but he also carries himself like a veteran. His self-assured attitude comes across in his delivery and often blunt lyrics. The Dorchester, Mass-bred, left coast-dwelling Skunkz brings us a project handled entirely by himself. Skunkz ft Skunkz shows off not only his sharp pen and rhymes but also his newly acquired production skills across 10 beats and 5 tracks with his own raps.
Skunkz opens the album as if he’s awakened to start the day with the bright “Arizona Daylight Savings.” He pulls an uplifting soulful vocal sample over slight organs. On “Stone Cold” the mood shifts to a somber, slightly jazzy trumpet over light percussion. Here Skunkz opens up a bit about pursuing his dreams while making sacrifices with lines like:
“Yeah the top’s where I gotta go, and if it mean I gotta leave some people behind,
I got a dream I gotta teach my mind
And when I learn some good knowledge bro,
I could feel that shit deep in my spine, pause,
I go way deeper tryna find the divine cause.”
“Orthopedic” brings the raw drums and the Wurlitzer organs as Skunkz exercises his lyrical flexibility. Skunkz is at his most poignant on “BMP.” It plays like an open letter to his mother, bringing back some memories of struggles as a youth and the promises to take care of her. On “NOSTABLELABEL” the bouncing synth organs build slight tension as Skunkz brings the heat lyrically.
Check the video for “NOSTABLELABEL“:
If you been around the underground community for a minute, it’s established that Skunkz can spit. It’s his fresh beatmaking skills that are on display as a big part of Skunkz ft Skunkz. “Coupe De Grace” delivers a melancholy vibe with synth guitars and subtle effects. “Signature” brings in the funk with 80’s r&b samples. Lift off into the galaxy with “StarSkunkz,” as spacy effects and chopped synths abound. On “GFK” Skunkz hits us with a soulful vocal loop with piano notes. “Ode” plays like the score from The Running Man or another 80’s action flick, with its uptempo beat and pronounced synths.
Deeply Rooted Hiphop caught up with Skunkz about this project and his new venture into producing tracks.
Skunkz: “Honestly, making my own beats comes with having my own ideas in my head for them. I will add this though, when I was hesitant about it Flash(ius Clayton) made it a point to tell me how fire making beats is and how technical it gets”
DRHH: When did it really click, like yeah I’m gonna make a project using my own beats?
Skunkz: “I knew i was gonna do it within the first week of making beats , that’s one thing that clicked RIGHT away was the fact I made beats that I could actually rap on.. For this project I definitely thought imma sit down make some fire joints and put it together for an album”
DRHH: Were there samples you instantly knew were it? “NSL”? That one definitely knocks and has a bounce to it.
“Yeah NSL was definitely one I knew was pure fire, but honestly all of the beats give me a different feeling like them joints put me in a different place. The “AZDLS” beat, for instance puts me in a Arizona state of mind, you know? Whereas BMP makes me think about my mother… My favorite joints ended up on the instrumental side though, believe it or not! That’s one of the things that even blew my own mind.. My favorite beats I couldn’t even write to em. The instrumentals were my SHIT!”
Skunkz comes through with a no-nonsense attitude but without a self-inflated ego that many rappers rely on through their boastful bars. He talks plenty of shit, but his drive and focus keep him in check. With Skunkz, there’s a genuine sense of self as he seeks to carve out a secure spot in the rap game. Skunkz ft Skunkz is certainly another step closer for him with this unique project.
Album available to purchase here: