Skillz Launches Label, Plans New Album

Rapper Skillz has

launched his own label and inked a distribution deal with Koch to release an upcoming

untitled album.

The Richmond, Virginia’s label, Big Kidz Entertainment,

recently inked a joint venture deal with Koch to release an album filled with

all-new material.

Skillz said the concept of Big Kidz Entertainment came to him

a few years ago, as he was out shopping with a friend.

“I was getting some money from writing and some checks

started coming in so I just started buying s**t and [a friend] was like ‘Damn,

dog, that’s one thing that ni**as act like when they get some money.’

[I said] ‘What’s that?’ [He said] ‘Like a big ass kid,

you actin’ like a big ass kid,’” Skillz told

The logo for the new imprint features a child holding a briefcase

full of money, sitting on top of the world.

“I think the average person, everybody’s got a little

bit of a child still in them,” Skillz said of the concept.

Originally known as Mad Skillz, the rapper released his critically

acclaimed album From Where??? in 1995, that featured the single “The

Nod Factor.”

The rapper resurfaced on albums by fellow Virginia natives Timbaland,

Missy Elliot and The Neptunes and appeared on the remix to Aaliyah's Timbaland-produced

single "Are You That Somebody," in 1998.

The rapper officially dropped the “Mad” from his

name with 2002’s album, I Ain't Mad No More and released several

more albums, as well as the popular yearly “Rap Up” singles that

recap major events in the world at the end of the year.

Almost 10 years later, the rapper is preparing to release an

album on his record label, with international distribution.

“Back in the day, I just got the regular artist deal,”

Skillz said. “You [are] breaking your neck, doing all this s**t and you’re

getting the smallest amount of money you can get. And gone are the days where

n**as are spending $300,000-400,000 to record an album. I’m happy about

it. Now, I’m getting all kinds of demos. I listened to like 9 demos and

beat CD’s on the way up here [to New York] because I never know. I might

stumble on the next Kanye, the next Just Blaze.”

Skillz untitled

album is slated to hit stores in early 2006 on Big Kidz Entertainment/KOCH Records.