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Interview: Skillz
Saturday, February 3, 2007

Thick: What label is the new album gonna drop on?
Skillz: I got my own label through Koch. I'm not really looking for any talent right now. I'm just trying to focus on this project that I'm doing right now.

T: How are you approaching this new album?
S: I'm experimenting with a lot of live music. Doing a lot of live instrumentation. Just trying different things and coming up with a lot of different things.

T: You still doin' stuff with the Roots?
S: I'm recording in ?uestlove's studio.

T: What do you think when people who say, Skillz don't drop records accept the Wrap-Up?
S: If you're not on 106 & Park everyday then a lot of people don't have the time or the attention span to find the music. I dropped Confessions of a Ghost Writer last year. Which was pretty much the Rawkus album that has been on the shelf for so long. I did two mixtapes last year but if you're not the type of person who is going to get that, then you won't hear about them. The Wrap-Up is probably the only thing that made it to mainstream radio. The Wrap-Up was on morning shows and mixshows because it's a funny record. But if I make song called Hip-Hop Died, which I do have now, and the only thing you hear from me is the Wrap-Up in December. That's because at that point that song, it makes sense to play it. You might hear that song right before Rick Ross or right after the new TI single, but you're not gonna hear Hip-Hop Died right before they play the new Ying Yang Twins song. But you will hear the Wrap-Up because of the content, see what I'm sayin'?

T: What DJs do you fuck with?
S: I'm real close with DJ Jazzy Jeff of course, Premier, my man DJ Active, Lonnie B., the Aphilliates, my man Cannon, Drama, the Radio Bums out in the west coast, Bum Squad DJs. That's the good thing about me, I do have a very good repoire with most of the DJs.

T: Don't you do a lot with P-Cutta too?
S: Me and P-Cutta are real cool...Roof Top Entertainment and my man DNA. I put out my last mixtape with P-Cutta, the Timbaland Collection, it did pretty well, and we did the Skillz vs. Shaq CD. That might have been my best selling mixtape ever. I don't know how he does it, but P-Cutta's distribution is damn near better than Rio or Sony, shit. I don't know how he gets that many mixtapes in that many places, but he does it.

T: Pack FM put out his own year end wrap-up, did you hear that?
S: I heard it. Real slick move. I think it came out that year I said I wasn't gonna do one. I wasn't mad at it. I kinda predicted that someone would do that. But I'm not mad at anybody who uses an angle to get themselves heard. When people say, the only time I hear from him is the Wrap-Up, that doesn't bother me because I didn't want to do, I didn't want to be stuck doing it. But now that I think about it, is it that bad? To have something your own in Hip-Hop is damn near unheard of, that people only want to hear from you. So, for me to stop doing it would be stupid. It's a marketing tool that I can use every year, if I want to. It's something that I came up with, and people only want to hear it from me. They don't want to hear it from anybody else, they want to hear it from me. So, I can't be mad at that. I might as well ride it. I told my manager I don't want to be 50 years old doing Wrap-Ups in Vegas. He was like, if you was 50 doing Wrap-Ups in Vegas is that, that bad? He was like, Celine Dion is in Vegas, she's doing the same songs every night. Do you think that's, that bad? And I thought about it and it isn't really. When the people start asking, what's up with the Wrap-Up, it's something that people look forward to. I've had celebrities approach me and been like, I'm glad I made the Wrap-Up. Lil' Jon walked up to me once and was like, I've made it now, I'm in the Wrap-Up, I'm good. The year that I said he was like the new Jermaine Dupri. And I was like, yall niggas really listen to that record? Yall really pay attention to that record? As far as Pack FM doing it, I wasn't really trippin' off of it. It's not like Jay-Z did it. I don't think it really helped him too much.

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