Artist Preview: Ski Beatz a.k.a Will-Ski ( Circa '87-Present)

October 31, 2011 3 min read

Fifth Element Presents Ski Beatz w/Murs, Tabi Bonney, Dash and more performance on 10.31.11 at 5 PM!!

When I got hit up about doing this in-store I was pretty excited. Of course, Murs is the homie so it's always great to see him and he's always super fun at these events. On top of that, I have been a fan of Ski Beatz for a long time. One of my first questions when setting this up was "Is Ski down to do an interview on his career?" In preparation for that, I've spent the last 20 hours or so listening to every Bizzie Boys and Original Flavorsong I have (which is pretty much everything they ever released save one or two tracks) over and over again. I even fell asleep with a Ski Beatz playlist in my headphones last night. I think I'm ready, although there is so much I want to know. He's had a pretty extensive, diverse and interesting career.

He was as talented as an MC as he was a producer, but eventually put the mic down to focus on the beats. As a producer, he's worked with a wide range of artists. You can tell that he is just a fan of the music from his discography. At any given time he could be working with someone who was at the top or considered hot at the time, but also working working with some new and upcoming artist on the Underground. That something you can see in his career from the beginning all the way up to the present day. His "24 Hour Karate School" CDs have even been reflective of this concept.

For those who aren't familiar with his history, here's a quick background check to get you up to date and prepared for when we drop the interview! Peep game:

Bizzie Boyz: From '87 to '91 Ski (then known as Will-Ski), alongside Mixmasta D, dropped a series of singles and one album under the crew Bizzie Boyz. Excellent and intelligent rhyming over impressive boom-bap production. A perfect foundation for his ever-evolving career.

[audio:|titles=Bizzie Boys - Too Deep For The Mortal Mind]
[audio:|titles=Bizzie Boys - 14 mission accomplished (alt)]

Original Flavor-This Is How It Is: Just a year after the last Bizzie Boyz release, Ski Beatz returned in '92 with a new crew, Original Flavor. There had been many changes besides the group, including a move to New York, new management with Damon Dash in his earliest of music ventures, and being signed to a major label, Atlantic Records.

[audio:|titles=01 This Is How It Is]
[audio:|titles=06 Waitin' 4 My Break]

Original Flavor-Beyond Flavor: For the second album Ski's rap partner from the debut, Suave, was kicked out and replaced by T Strong a.k.a Tone Hooker. The album is more aggressive and energetic. The beats are bonkers and the they are flipping all kinds of rap styles. Plus they put Jay Z on the map in a big way and even give some shine to Frescho, who had disappeared a few years back. Also, one of the most entertaining things might be Ski and new partner, T Strong, doing a remake of "Here We Go" and dissing his old rap partner. Easily one of the greatest concepts for a diss record...

[audio:|titles=10 Many Styles]
[audio:|titles=13 Here We Go (Fuck It Up)]

From there, he put down the mic to focus on production and he has been handling his bizness on the beats non-stop every since; Jay Z, Lil Kim, Sporty Theivz, Bahamadia, Curren$y, Homeboy Sandman, Pacewon, Fat Joe, AZ, Camp Lo, Supreme Nyborn, Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz, Kap Kirk, Mursand so on... Stay tuned for more history as the legacy continues!

Written By Kevin Beacham

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