Skewby, born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee is an upcoming rapper that’s been “Proving You Wrong Since 1988”. Although he’s currently starting to grow a lot of buzz as a rapper, 23 year old Skewby has been active in the music industry for quite sometime now. At the young age of fourteen, he began producing for artists. Not only does Skewby rap and produce, but he’s also an actor, music engineer, video director, and he writes his own music. The year 2010 was a big year for Skewby because in that time not only did he open up for Lil Wayne for the Farewell Tour but he was also honored in various national magazines such as Concrete Magazine, the Source Magazine, and the Memphis Flyer. Skewby has been compared to many rappers up the wall like Lupe Fiasco, J. Cole, and even Kanye West but he does his own thing. One of his best qualities is that he really stays true to himself.
Kisanii Flow: The name of my blog is Kisanii Flow. Kisanii is Swahili for artistic. How would you describe your artistic flow?
Skewby: If anything, my artistic flow is scattered. It’s unpredictable. The times where I sit down and attempt to execute an idea are the times that something totally different comes out. The days where I want to do three songs are the days when I just write sixteen bars. The month I want to finish an album will turn into a month of me editing videos. It’s almost as if none of it is in my control. I love it though. I do whatever I can to bring me peace.
Kisanii Flow: What sets you apart from other rappers?
Skewby: I don’t really know. I haven’t had the chance to have conversations with a lot of rappers. I just know that we’re all naturally different. We’re all individuals from the jump. Sometimes the genre can influence you in ways that can change you. Sometimes you can try too hard not to be influenced. All I do is live my life and make music based on what I’ve experienced or what interests me. Hopefully that’s a formula that will always set me apart.
Kisanii Flow: As a relatively new artists in the Hip-Hop game, I’m sure you get compared to a lot of other rappers. I myself have heard people compare you to Lupe Fiasco and J. Cole. How do you deal with and respond to these comparisons? Is there anyone you would compare yourself to?
Skewby: I know that comparisons come from a good place so it doesn’t bother me. I don’t think anyone means any harm when they say I sound like Lupe Fiasco or J. Cole. It’s just their way of trying to identify with my sound. There’s no one I’d compare myself to really.
Kisanii Flow: Being that you are from the south, I’m sure there’s a lot of pressure for you to make “gangsta rap” for your audiences. What’s your response to this?
Skewby: There’s no pressure at all these days. In the beginning there was a lot. Most people now respect my authority to make what I like. Once I started accomplishing things, here and there, people finally started to get it. Now everybody asks me to do a song for the club. I’m not against it. I just think that you should focus on making good music rather than making a song for a particular place. Plus, I’m not a fan of clubs. Haha.
Kisanii Flow: Growing up as a kid, what rappers did you listen to the most? Who inspired you and why?
Skewby: Growing up I listened to No Limit, Outkast, Three 6 Mafia, 2pac, and everything that my neighborhood listened to. But it was Jay-Z’s “The Blueprint” that really inspired me and made me look at rap in a different light. No CD had ever had that much of an impact on me as a person or a rapper. It made me look at production different. It made me want to dive deeper into lyrical content as a twelve year old. That album changed everything for me.
Kisanii Flow: The title of your last project is “Humble Pie”. I know that a lot of rappers are big on being cocky and rapping about how cold they are. What sparked the idea of this project and how important is it to you to remain humble?
Skewby: The project was pretty much completed before the name was involved. The idea came from fans and bloggers. I was reading comments about singles I had released and noticed that people were identifying with my more honest material. That’s what really sparked the title. It made me view these six songs in particular as a slice of humble pie. It’s important to me to remain humble simply because I think it’s a characteristic of a good man. My mother and father raised me to be that way. I appreciate them for that.
Kisanii Flow: What was growing up in Memphis, Tennessee like? Do you still live out there and if you do, do you plan on moving anywhere else in the country or staying there for your career?
Skewby: Growing up in Memphis was fun. Every city will provide ups and downs but Memphis did a lot more than that for me. It’s definitely not a city for the weak hearted but that’s what I love about it. This city has some of the strongest people you’ll ever meet. I still live here. I don’t have any plans on moving but you never know. I’m a spur of the moment type of guy. No matter what, Memphis will always be my home though.
Kisanii Flow: I noticed that you direct all of your music videos. How did you get into that?
Skewby: I didn’t know anybody who made videos. After my mixtape, “Proving You Wrong”, I tried to get a video done for a song called Sunday morning. I didn’t really like how it came out so I tried to do it myself. I didn’t think it was half bad so that weekend I went out and shot “Talk 2 ‘Em.” Spent a few days editing it and from there I’ve just been growing into it. With each new video, I try to learn more and apply something new.
Kisanii Flow: Was your favorite cartoon character Scooby Doo growing up?
Skewby: It’s funny ‘cus I never really watched the show. I couldn’t tell you about a single episode, haha. I guess by default my favorite character should be Scooby.
Kisanii Flow: I noticed that in your song “Chillin’” there was a line where you said you only eat fish, vegetables, and fruit. Are you a pescatarian? What made you decide to do this?
Skewby: Yep! I’m a pescatarian. There were some health issues in my family last year that made me look closer at what I allowed myself to eat. After a few articles online and some scary documentaries I cut all the meat out. One of the best decisions I ever made.
Kisanii Flow: Any future projects coming up that you would like to tell us about?
Skewby: Just more music. All I’ve been doing is reading and making more music so hopefully a new tape will be out sooner or later. These NBA finals haven’t really helped the progress that much. Aha.
Yeah, that’s me. We live for the young.
Peep the video from the young artist Skewby from Memphis, Tennessee. This song “Chillin’” is from his new EP entitled “Humble Pie”. Not only did Skewby write this song but he also directed this video himself. It’s homemade. Download his mixtape here: http://skewby.bandcamp.com/album/humble-pie (:
Check out this inspirational song by the young female MC from Chicago, Alia Idiomatic! Vibe to it.
Tyrel Showers, better known by his rap named “Dizz” is beginning to make a name for himself in the Hip-Hop scene in Las Vegas, Nevada where he resides. Inspired by other artists like Blu, Common, and Phonte, Dizz has a little bit of a more conscious vibe to his music than a lot of other rappers in the game. According to Dizz, rapping about money, cars, clothes, and hoes isn’t exactly his forte. He prefers rapping about things and situations that occur in his real life and things his listening audience can relate to. When I had my interview with him via Facebook he stated, “I could be like any typical rapper and speak on money and drugs but I’m not. I never have been and never will be.” He also went on to say, “I like taking people back in time that think they’ll never get the chance” when I asked him about the jazzy feel of his songs. Let’s just say, by listening to his music, you can definitely tell this kid’s been inspired by Hip-Hop from the early and late 90s.
Kisanii Flow: You’ve said to me before that you don’t want to be like any “typical rapper” that speaks on money and drugs. How do you feel about the certain rappers in the industry that do rap about those subjects in their songs? What do you think it’s doing to Hip-Hop and its listeners?
Dizz: The ones that do speak on it are the ones that sell the most because sex sells, even when you rap about it. In this day in age, no one cares for lyrics but they care about “beats”. If you don’t have a beat that knocks then they won’t mess with you. It’s sad but that’s what “Hip-Hop” has turned into. What’s it doing to Hip-Hop now? Changing it into Hip-Pop. What is that? An addicting beat but meaningless lyrics. If it’s something people can dance to they’ll accept it. Take for instance Waka Flocka, he has beats that people go crazy to but what is he saying? Not a thing. As long as you can get crazy to it then people will accept it. That’s when the saying “Ignorance is bliss” comes into effect.
Kisanii Flow: You’ve mentioned to me before that you’re planning on going into the army. Why? What made you make this decision? Why not stay home and focus on music?
Dizz: My father was in the air force and I grew up a military brat. The older I got, the more I realized how much of a great lifestyle it was. My dad passed away on August 19, 2008 and we had this conversation a month before his death. He told me, “I don’t want you joining the military. I want you to focus on college and make something of yourself. Don’t feel that just because you’re a young African-American male that you have to play in the NFL or the NBA or that you have to become a rapper. Not everyone is destined for that lifestyle. Once I heard that, it changed me. I wanted to prove to my dad that I could do it but times got hard and being a young unknown rapper from Vegas, no one wants to listen to you. So, I needed to get a backup plan and the army was that. Why not stay home and focus on music? I have a single mother that is struggling. It may sound cliche, but staying home rapping knowing that everyday isn’t promised to me and that it could be years before I actually get noticed isn’t exactly something easy to deal with. And working a 9 to 5 won’t exactly support her either so joining the military isn’t only benefitting me but her as well.
KF: So, after you finish things with the army do you plan on pursuing your music or is music just something you do as a hobby?
Dizz: I plan on pursuing it for sure but I’ll know where my main focus is. I’m only 19, I still have my whole life ahead of me and for now the army is my career. But any chance I get, which will be a good amount (I’m only reserve), I will be writing and recording. I have a computer, a mic, a program, and a dream that one day will become a reality.