Mixtape Review: Skyzoo – “The Great Debater” – #### 1/2
At this point in his career, Skyzoo is well known to hip-hop fans. The Brooklyn emcee has dropped solid release after solid release, working with some of the best beatsmiths in the process. 2006′s Cloud 9: The 3 Day High found Skyzoo collaborating with 9th Wonder, while 2010′s masterpiece Live from the Tape Deck teamed Sky with the smooth production of !llmind. On the solo tip, Skyzoo’s official debut, The Salvation garnered critical acclaim and set the stage for bigger things. With his new release, The Great Debater attempts give fans more of what they want.
Fans know what to expect from a Skyzoo release; stout production coupled with the strong lyrical content from a talented emcee. The Great Debater does nothing to change those expectations. Though The Great Debater is billed as mixtape it plays more like an album. The mixtape label is just that in this case as the songs are all well crafted and complete. More importantly, there’s no DJ yelling and cutting songs off which lets everything flow while giving the listener a long player that they can play without skipping a track.
Skyzoo has a great ear for beats and the production on The Great Debater proves that. Production featured comes from 9th Wonder, !llmind, Best Kept Secret, Oh No and Swiff D. Not a bad production staff at all. Best Kept Secret starts the album off with a headnodders wet dream, as he laces Skyzoo with horns blaring on the dope “Complicated Rythym”. Living up to his name, the beatsmith does it again on the bouncy “We Here”, which features an intoxicating drum loop similar to some 2005 Rich Harrison type shit. Other tracks of note include the dope “Rap Like Me”, “Atypical”, and “Test Drive”. One of hip-hop’s most overused samples, Bob Jame’s “Nautilus” is flipped magnificently on the E. Jones produced “Inheritance”. There really is no weak production as the album moves from track to track, and the crown jewel appears early as Swiff D steals the show with production on the standout track; “Written in the Drums”.
In addition to his ear for beats, Skyzoo is also flat out just a great emcee. In listening to him it’s obvious that he has the talent, but moreso works hard at his craft. Tracks such as “Designer Drugs”, “Until It All Goes”, “Could’ve Struck The Lotto” and “The Definitive Power” display his talents. “For The Awake” and the remix of sorts “For the Sleepers” are well placed and are another great example of how Sky crafts an album instead of just throwing out songs for the hell of it. Nicely done. Tracks such as “Expensive Habits” and “Get Him to the Greek” are a little corny, but that in itself is more due to personal preference as they are otherwise decent tracks that fans can either take or leave.
Overall The Great Debater is another top notch release from Skyzoo. When a Skyzoo album, or in this case “mixtape”, drops, fans never have to worry about the quality. In this case, there is no debate, so cop it and enjoy the greatness.
Rating: ####1/2 out of #####