Skillz – The Million Dollar Backpack (Koch Records)
There’s no doubt that Skillz has indeed got skills. I mean those “end of year rap-up” tracks he drops are legendary, and his previous work for Rawkus Records is considered classic. Now back with his first album for three years, Skillz has dropped an album that should earn its place in end of year 2008 top ten Hip-Hop albums. There’s no real big named producers involved on this album apart from Questlove and Kwame, but trust me all the beats are tight. Okay it’s a little jazzy and retro in places, which is why I guess some people are saying it sounds a touch dated, but on the whole it’s refreshing and uplifting. Solo cuts like the opening track “Where I Been” should be playlisted for daytime radio play and the awesome “My Phone” is a something to check for too. The likes of Freeway, Common and Black Thought from The Roots are cleverly brought in for some very memorable collaborations. It’s a good album and I think Skillz has brought something different to the game, proving that you don’t just have to rap about guns, drugs, women and the streets to make good music! This album is a really enjoyable audio journey and any discerning Hip-Hop fan should own a copy of this CD.
Review by Tricksta