Artist: SkillzTitle: Confessions of a GhostwriterRating: 2 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Jay Peregrine
Year after year, Skillz fans have been waiting for him to deliver that
classic record that most of us know he is capable of. Every once in a while
he teases his fans by releasing a song, usually right around new years time,
that builds the hopes of his fans but there never seems to be a strong
follow through from Skillz. To some this record, Confessins of a Ghostwriter (Sure Shot) is more of the same thing. Others who are less familiar with VA's finest will probably find Confessions as an overall respectable effort.
Skillz has as many if not more tools in his arsenal than most MCs. He's
funny, he's witty, he has punchlines, he has wordplay, he can switch up his
flow, he's creative and he's arrogant. On half of the songs he puts each
of those characteristics on display, for instance, on Hip-Hop, produced by Nottz, Skillz displays his creativity as he writes an open love letter to Hip-Hop in the same vein as Common's I Used to Love H.E.R.. Skillz spits, "I aint hatin and I aint even tryna complain/ It's a process and I guess when you grow you change/maybe it's who you hangin wit, I aint blamin' them/You give them sh*t they never had and that changes them. But on the other half of the songs he opts to make songs that have the catchy hooks and tricked out beats that leave his fans bewildered as to what he's aiming for,
example, Wave Ya Hands featuring Musiq Soulchild. At times it appears as if he's
made a conscious effort to create "songs" as opposed to letting his natural talents take over and speak for themselves. He balances that out however with tracks like Imagine where he talks about how record labels and rappers decide to make up lies to sell millions. He also suggests he could do the same thing if he chose to make up lies in his records but he instead chooses to tell the truth. Skillz displays another side rarely shown on "You Only Get One" as he delivers a very touching dedication to his mother. The feeling of the song really sinks in during the third verse when you can hear Skillz fighting to hold back tears as he rhymes.
Confessions of a Ghostwriter could be little bit misleading as a title for
this album, because he doesn't make any such admissions. So don't purchase this album thinking he's going to air out his list of clients who haven't paid their past due ghostwriting bills. Actually he does make one confession but it's so subliminal you
could easily miss it. Loyal Skillz fans have probably heard a lot of the music found here at some point but if you haven't heard a lot of Skillz material in the past, the album is definitely a must listen, as Skillz is a rare breed of MC.