Skyzoo – Retropolitan Tour Feat. Elzhi
with Landon Wordswell, Mister Burns, Philmore Greene, 60 East, Es-K
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
18+ $10 ADV // DOS
Growing up just a block away from The Notorious B.I.G., watching him go from local kid to rap superstar, Skyzoo couldn’t help but dream big.
He started making mixtapes in 2002, and in 2005, through a mutual friend, was introduced to Grammy-winning producer 9th Wonder. The North Carolina native was won over by the upstart MC’s talents, and readily sent him beats to record over—which would soon become 2006’s Cloud 9: The Three Day High, a mixtape that launched Sky into hip-hop’s consciousness. His deft wordplay, confident delivery, and vivid imagery were all on display. Fans continued to flock following Cornerstore Classic in 2007 and 2009’s Power of Words, each mixtape again showcasing Sky’s skillset as a hood poet.
It was September 2009’s The Salvation, though, released through Jamla/Duck Down, that solidified the rhymeslinger into an elite class. “It all was leading up to The Salvation,” he says. “That was the album I had been planning since I was nine years old.” Landing at No. 14 on the Billboard Top 200 charts, the critically acclaimed release stood on a cohesive and engaging sincerity that explains the sizable fanbase Sky has cultivated.
Still riding the wave of his debut, Sky returned in July 2010 with Live From the Tapedeck, an album produced entirely by !llmind. The summer of 2011 brought The Great Debater, a free mixtape of album-quality material that Sky treated his fans to as a follow up to two retail releases.
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.
With his highly anticipated album Dream Deferred slated for a 2012 release, Skyzoo is focused on continuing to become the ultimate artist, able to make music with a lasting impact.
Listeners can identify with his story; they can see the many sides of themselves in him. They play “For What It’s Worth” on their way to a dead-end job. They bump “Necessary Evils” as they hustle. They blare “Speakers On Blast” when they party. No matter the mood, season, or circumstance, Skyzoo offers music to live to.
Before the world ever heard the name ELZHI, the young artist was sitting in the back of classrooms thinking of rhymes, spitting verses while his friend Fes banged out beats on lunchroom tables, or was battling rival emcees on the blacktop after school. He sharpened every blade in his arsenal, developing his style to measure up against the competition in Maurice Malone’s Hip Hop Shop, the legendary proving ground for Detroit artists that has produced some of the greatest emcees in the world.
ELZHI spent years paying dues, writing songs, entering battles, and recording demos until he finally made his international debut on “Come and Get It,” a standout track from J Dilla’s album, Welcome 2 Detroit. The acclaimed song drew massive attention to the mysterious artist, and made his unfinished EP, Out of Focus, a highly sought after recording.
In 2001, Slum Village asked ELZHI to be a part of the group to elevate their reputation, and allowing him to reach new levels of lyricism. He recorded multiple albums with his former group, sold hundreds of thousands of records, and toured the world performing his hit singles “Tainted (featuring Dwele)” and “Selfish (featuring Kanye West and John Legend)” in cities as distant as Tokyo and Amsterdam.
In 2004, ELZHI released Witness My Growth, a 2-disc mixtape featuring many of his lost or unfinished solo songs, which has come to be considered an underground classic by hip hop fans all over the world. Embarking on his first European solo tour in 2008, ELZHI released Europass as a merch-table exclusive. Upon his return to the United States, he promptly released the The Preface, his solo debut on Fat Beats Records. The album helped to solidify his reputation as one of the most respected and inventive lyricists in the world, earning acclaim from legendary artists and fans alike. In 2009, responding to the demands of his passionate fan base, ELZHI released The Leftovers mixtape, a collection of rare tracks and unreleased exclusives featuring the hit single “Deep.”
In 2010, due to complications with his former label and no longer content with being “your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper,” ELZHI signed with Jae Barber and The JAE.B Group, an Artist Relations and Management firm, drafting them to help launch his career to the next level. Moving past the relationship with his former group, ELZHI has reinvented himself as a solo artist and reignited his buzz. This year, he released ELMATIC, an homage to NAS’s classic debut, ILLmatic. A labor of love for ELZHI, the project finds the Detroit emcee creating new songs out of Nas’s original titles while rapping over the Will Sessions Band’s interpretation of the original beats.
After the overwhelming success of ELMATIC, ELZHI is in the beginning stages of writing his new album using beats provided by an exciting roster of producers, and is embarking on a tour to reintroduce himself to the world.