Skooly has influenced an entire generation of rappers, with his unique blend of singing and rapping.
The Atlanta native first came up as a member of the Rich Kidz, gaining attention for his talents at just 14 years old. Since then, he’s shifted his focus to his solo artistry, creating feel-good music for his ever growing fanbase.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt he’s signed to 2 Chainz T.R.U. (The Real University) imprint. Most recently, he was featured on nearly half the songs on the label’s compilation album No Face No Case, released in February of this year. But fans are going crazy for his newest project yet: Nobody Likes Me.
The project is accompanied by a “drive-in” movie night in the A as he screens his coinciding documentary.
AllHipHop caught up with Skooly to discuss the meaning behind the new project, his influence, relationship with 2 Chainz, and more!
AllHipHop: Have you been holding up during quarantine? You’ve been inside?
Skooly: Yeah, I’m staying in the studio for the most part. I tried to get out of the house as much as possible not be a couch potato. I come to be around this energy. I can’t wait to get on the stage. Can’t wait till they’re saying “Skooly in the building everybody!”
AllHipHop: Let’s talk about the new album. Why’d you name it Nobody Likes Me ?
Skooly: It’s how I feel. This is my point of view. This is me talking. This is you seeing what I’m talking about through my eyes. There’s a song on there called “American Made,” I hit every key point and talked about every aspect of what I mean. That one song totally explains the title of the album itself.
AllHipHop: What were you going through when you recorded it?
Skooly: Everything. This was a while back, I was at a dark place in my life. At a low place. Nobody Likes Me has three different meanings for me. This is me. I’m not saying that it’s supposed to be right, it’s supposed to be wrong. Some people love me, but they don’t like me. That goes for family, friends.
AllHipHop: How do they love you but not like you?
Skooly: An example for you. You know how your mother used to tell you “I love you, but I don’t have to be your friend”? I love you, but I don’t like you. I don’t have to be your friend. Sometimes it’s unexplainable for me. I’m weird sometimes. This is truly how I feel. This goes for the rap game. Some people love my music, but they may not like me. They may like me but they might not like my music. On the other hand, there’s nobody in the world and in the universe like me. I treat it like this is coming from different angles.
AllHipHop: Atlanta has a ton of rappers, how do you manage to stand out?
Skooly: I try to stay myself. I try to stay out of people’s way. Just do me, doing me got me here to this point. Even if I had to critique it, even if I had to work around it and work on it and get it right, being me is what got me here so I’m going to continue to do that.
AllHipHop: All your fans are calling you the GOAT, it’s dope to see. What is it about you that the fans love?
Skooly: I keep it original. I totally speak for the youth automatically, period. Sometimes I speak so strongly for the youth that the older crowd and senior crowd, they understand. Because they’ve been through so much. I’m now getting to the point of my life where they were before. They were young before, everybody was.
AllHipHop: You were super young when you started.
Skooly: I was 14 years old when we started. I was watching them. It started with me walking to the bus stop watching them come from school, they were already The Rich Kids. It was Caleb, Baby Charles, Sammy, Big Man, Rich Kid Shawty, that’s it. They were a name in the city. We all went to school, I used to see them every day. They’re popping out of this old school beat up blue Firebird, that was hard to me. The Cool Kids type. Caleb used to have cleaner clothes, rocking clothes. They’re fresh every day going to Douglas High School. I actually stayed in the house that Caleb stayed, so we grew up in the same house. I wanted to be with them. I’m walking to the bus stop in the hood every day. Being around them, I wanted to be like them. Taylor took me in, I was in the 8th grade at the time.
AllHipHop: 8th Grade? That’s crazy!
Skooly: Exactly. Caleb was already a thug in high school. Caleb was taking me on the weekends or even school days. He’s taking me to senior nights, the dances to the homecomings, all the games, all the parties. They got to know me before I even got to high school. When I got to high school, that’s when we started rapping for real and the rest was history. Those my brothers. Everybody who was a part of the situation was my brothers.
AllHipHop: The real ones know that you actually helped influence this new Atlanta sound and you have a lot of influence on the culture. Do you feel like right now you’re getting that recognition?
Skooly: We all know I don’t get the recognition that I deserve, but I’m such a humble guy. I know some people are mad at me about being humble, but I don’t be trippin’. God got a plan. He took me through my trial and tribulations. I took myself through those and he helped me get through them. I’m here for a reason, I have to do it to the fullest. No more slowing down. We all have to grow at some point, that’s something I had to learn.
AllHipHop: Let’s talk about “Go.” What inspired this record?
Skooly: I’m not an only child, my mother and father had me and my sister. My father had other girls, but I’m the only boy. I was the baby. I grew up in the house with all women. My aunties, my sisters, my cousins. Me waking up every day, I’d hear them. I’m waking up the music, dancing, cleaning up, cooking. That’s what I’m waking up seeing, their faces looked so happy and genuine. I wanted to make a song they could relate to and dance to right now.
On the other hand, I’ll be trying to experiment with my voice. Always trying to level up my voice at any cost because I never had a voice coach. I always experiment and try to see what I could do with my range. That’s one of the songs where I experimented and it came out good. I actually liked it. I like how it sounds. Originally, it was raw. “Go” is one of those songs, the female crowd is taking to it very well. Everybody, even gangsters like singing. They like singing songs.
AllHipHop: Is your album a mix of singing and rapping?
Skooly: Every time, that’s me. If I don’t do that, it’s unoriginal. I’ve changed. I’ve matured, I became a man. I have responsibilities, real ones out here to take care of on a living status. I’ve changed for the better, I’m doing good. I’m doing well.
AllHipHop: What’s the best memory from the “Go” video shoot?
Skooly: The clothes I was wearing for the “Go” video was dope. The women who were dancing were dope. It was like a Hollywood studio video from 1999.
AllHipHop: People are asking, when are you dropping the cover art?
Skooly: It’s on my Instagram. I rented out the drive-in in Atlanta to show my documentary. I’m going to show the people how I’m feeling, give them a little piece of me before I let them hear some of the music. It’s a release listening the day before the album drops. I’m excited for that.
AllHipHop: Is the documentary your whole entire life or mostly the making of the album?
Skooly: A lot of people have asked me about my documentary, “is this one about your whole life?” You should do that at a certain point in your life, but it’s not that time for me. Not that I haven’t made it to that point yet, this documentary is a journey from since I’ve been solo. Up until now, how I survived. I’ve been through so much: looked over, passed so many times. I created a lot of things. I don’t be saying things about it because I’m just me.
AllHipHop: Talk about when 2 Chainz came in and how that experience was for you.
Skooly: Chainz is my brother. This is real life. He actually did records with Rick Kidz and he didn’t charge us. After a while, we stayed in tune. I was going to the studio with him, kicking it. He asked me, “well, what you got going on? What do you want to do? What are we doing?” Out of nowhere. He was already the big brother I never had because I never had a brother. My mother or my father never had boys.
AllHipHop: What’s his favorite song on the album?
Skooly: He hasn’t told me yet but he likes when I sing. I know he’s heard the music.
AllHipHop: Talk about the Lil Baby feature on the project.
Skooly: I grew up around Lil Baby. I know Dominique, that’s my boy. There’s a lot of people in Atlanta that’s hot who I’ve worked with before. He wasn’t a person rapping back then. When he started rapping, he never asked me for help. I respect him because when I asked him for his help, it was a no-brainer. When certain people get to a certain point like “this motherf##ker rich,” they’re like “nah.” He could have done that and he didn’t, I respect him for that. I respect him because he’s so young and he did what he did. These numbers he put up, he set a whole nother standard for n##gas.
AllHipHop: How crazy is the record?
Skooly: Too crazy, that was a no-brainer too. Y’all gon’ see what’s happening.
AllHipHop: How is Ralo holding up in jail?
Skooly: I don’t really want to get into that. Free Ralo, Westside baby. He’s been picking me up, taking me to the clubs. Been in every nightclub, he became big too. That’s somebody who always kept it real with me.
AllHipHop: What else do you want to let the fans know?
Skooly: Let them know again about the drive-in. What safer way to be in this COVID situation than to be in your car, view a movie and be in your car. Pull up, pretty ladies.