The year 2003 was supposed to mark the end of Skillz’s popular yearly “Rap Up” songs, but the Virginia native has exclusively released the 2004 to the glee of fans, DJs and other MC’s.
After opting out last year, he said the public convinced him to forge ahead with the series, which explains why the track hits the music circuit later than usual.
“The people made this one happen. I didn't really wanna do it. I was trippin off of it. But after Christmas everyone started calling and stopping me while I was out [upset] like ‘You ain’t gon' do it?” he explained to AllHipHop.com. “Supply and demand-its as simple as that. It was funny to hear that other people did one once they heard I wasn't gonna do one.”
Other rappers like Pack FM and relative unknown BeeKay have also released similar songs in the past weeks, but Skillz said a conversation with a DJ changed his mind.
“I got a call from a radio station on New Year’s Eve while I’m at a party like ‘We got Skillz on the line and we been getting emails and faxes all night asking why you didn't do your ‘04 Rap Up this year?’ And I'm in a party yelling into a celly tryin to explain why I didn't do one,” he said. Finally, the tremendous demand was victorious and Skillz opted to record the track.
Skillz himself has been the topic of many 2004 wrap-ups, by both rappers and writers, after his rap sparring session with basketball star Shaquille O’Neil made headlines in 2004.
“The Shaq issue is just small. Not really a big deal to me. I had no idea it was in other people’s "rap ups" because I didn't listen to them. The Shaq s**t was something to do for a second,” he quipped.
In the meantime, Skillz said he’s about to begin work on another commercial release.
“I'm still touring like crazy, gotta get back in the lab though. I been touring so much that I'm running outta records to perform so I gotta get back in the booth and bang these songs out,” he said.
Skillz has also recently finished filming an independent film and occupies himself writing R&B songs under an alias.
Click to hear “The 2004 Rap Up.”