A Philadelphia native and Tampa transplant, Skully has evolved over the years to an exceptional contemporary sound. His ability to provide a unique approach to Hip Hop has made his N.O.R.E.-assisted hit single “Fully Loaded” a personal reflection of his individuality. Skully is not new to the music world as he has had the pleasure of working with Grammy producers Justice League. Now under GIG Music Group, Skully is ready to take the Hip-Hop world by storm!
I’m going to jump right in, why the rap moniker Skully?
Well, I came from a town full of cold and dark alleyways. The normal attire growing up was normally a black flight jacket and a black skully hat, so I coined the name to represent my humble beginnings, and to represent all my young hustlers in that alleyway under the streetlamp trying to get out of that lifestyle, my voice is forever for them.
Which city to you represent and how important is your hometown to you?
The core of my upbringing is from the Philadelphia area. I used to catch the train to the city on a daily basis. We used to have a studio right on 69th Street, also I used to go to a local Philly group name 100x’s Studio. Rasheed Wallace would later record with them, but when I was growing up that was my first professional studio I would go to. I was only a teenager. The second half of my development was from moving to the South, Tampa Florida. That added some extra flavor to the ingredients, my style developed in regards to song making as the south began to sculpt the sound of the music industry. Also, I spent years in the studio with Grammy Award-winning producers Justice League while in Tampa, which allowed me to continue to grow in the art of the studio. So the credit for my development is split between two cities and I credit both cities for different reasons.
Is it really that important for a rapper to represent a town to introduce himself to the public?
It’s important for an artist to be in touch with his origins and to give credit to his influences and I’m sure the fans want to know what ingredients are put together to make you the type of artist that you are, from a fans perspective.
What was it about the craft that made you want to get into the industry and be a part of the Hip-Hop culture?
When it comes to Hip Hop, some people are exposed to Hip Hop, some people are born into Hip Hop, some people are the definition of Hip Hop. I feel I am the spawn of Hip Hop. I’ve lived and have been a fan of Hip Hop from Run DMC to LL Cool J. Our community has always been engulfed with Hip Hop from vinyl to MP3. So since I could read and write I was penning rhymes. All the males around me rapped. My father was a hustler when I was young so we lived the lifestyle from jump. So Hip Hop has always been the soundtrack to my life since I was born.
What kind of music did you listen to growing up that had an influence on your choice to become an artist?
Like I said I was a spawn of Hip Hop. My uncles and my babysitter’s were always playing Hip Hop videos in the background and listening to groups like Tribe Called Quest or Brand Nubian or whoever was relevant at the time. Being a young black male in the inner city Hip Hop reflected a lifestyle that was a reality based on my surroundings, so like I said Hip Hop reflects our natural life.
Most recently, you dropped your first single “Fully Loaded” featuring Hip-Hop heavyweight N.O.R.E., which is receiving rave reviews. What inspired the title?
“Fully Loaded” is just a reflection of the Tampa nightlife inspired by true events. Over the past few years, I’ve heard other artists talk about their lifestyle and glorify their party scene in their city, so I wanted to talk wanted to take this opportunity to shine a light on how we get down in our city. We have a very healthy flourishing nightlife and nobody touches the city harder than the Vegaz Boyz. We provide the party and the party favors, no exaggeration. We took the nightlife to the next level and made it a profession. I have yet to see a crew put it down in the city like us. Some guys have a special night once a month or on birthdays or holidays. But with us every night was a holiday four to five nights a week we was popping bottles. Our run lasted almost a decade. Now, it’s time to convert to this legal partying lifestyle.
How did you link up with N.O.R.E. and how was it working with him?
My label already had a pre-existing relationship with N.O.R.E. and they wanted to strategically find a way to place him on my project, but they wanted it to make sense so when I started recording “Fully Loaded”, they felt the record matched N.O.R.E.’s energy. He definitely keeps them bottles fully loaded in the club so it made sense. N.O.R.E. is definitely a legend and also a personal influence, so he brought a veteran appeal to the record and his natural vibe took it to the next level.
Who is on your wish list of people to work with and why?
As far as a wishlist on who I’d like to work with, the only two rappers on my bucket list would be Nas and Eminem. They’re the only two that I can see pushing my flow to the next level. Those were the only two that really forced me to upgrade my style. Literally, they were the ultimate influences. The only other artists at this exact moment would be Fat Joe and Remy Ma. I think they represent real Hip Hop and Fat Joe’s 25 years of influence on Hip Hop is definitely coming 360 with his new string of hits. I think they represent for Hip Hop and the struggle to make it back to the top through adversity. Definitely motivational and at the end of the day their music is just dope.
You are signed to Florida-based label GIG Music Group. What was is that you decided to work with them?
I decided to rock with GIG because we had the same vision, good music. Not trendy jingles. We all come from the same era and we want to bring that feeling back, plus they had faith in my talents and were willing to put their muscle behind my ideas. I was 100% independent prior to meeting GIG so it felt good to have a team behind me to support me and bring my ideas to reality.
What is your vision for your career as a recording artist?
As for my vision, I just want my voice to be heard for my peers. I represent a certain class of hustler, the type of dude that was dealt a shitty hand and made the best of it to rise to the occasion. Any real hustler I know wants to get out of the lifestyle but they feel trapped. I want to provide an opportunity for my brothers that feel trapped and provide legal opportunities to feed their kids. It ain’t about the fame, fuck the fame… it’s the opportunity for a better life without taking penitentiary chances. That’s what I do it for… plus I’m dumb nice on the mic.
What is the most important element to you out of the 5 elements of Hip-Hop and why?
I think all the elements of Hip Hop are important. You can’t reinvent the wheel and you can’t take the shrimp out the gumbo and call it jambalaya. All elements are equal in Hip Hop and they all play a part.
What are your next steps? Where do you see your career 2 years from now?
My next step is to launch this Vegaz Boyz brand and diversify the brand into other categories. My goal is to create opportunities. I’m sure I’ll never lose the love of making music, I just want to make it to the point where there’s multiple streams of revenue and my close family can capitalize off my success and notoriety to create a productive life for their family.
In the end, let the people know where they can find you online.
People can find me at twitter.iamskully.com, facebook.iamskully.com, instagram.iamskully.com, youtube.iamskully.com, www.iamskully.com and www.GIGMusicgroup.com.connect
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