Ol’ Dirty Sundays w/ Mad Skillz (DJ MC VA)
June 30 @ 10:00 pm
Keeping the heat all the way this summer with another top notch guest. On Sunday June 30th we welcome back the one and only Mad Skillz for his second guest set with us at ODS. Last time he made the trip from VA he absolutely tore the party down and this time should be the exact same. Early arrival is highly suggested on this one as we will be at capacity.
Resident DJ(s): CASPER x FADER
Crowd Control: DEACON
Guest DJ: MAD SKILLZ (DJ | MC | VA)
MAD SKILLZ Bio:
Venerable Richmond, Virginia rapper Skillz is the hip hop head’s hip hop head. He’s the guy who spun on cardboard as a kid, sprayed graffiti, and deejayed by connecting his mother’s turntables together. Never in a million years would he think that years later he would become an in-demand songwriter, producer, artist & deejay.
Born in Detroit, Shaquan Lewis, otherwise known as “Skillz” spent time in Fayetteville, North Carolina before landing in Richmond, Virginia. There he attended high school, where he soaked up all the Rakim, Kool Moe Dee, Run-DMC and anything he could get his hands on. “I’ve been a fan of hip hop since day one,” he says. “It always seemed like it was speaking to me directly.” He was a standout English student, honing his rap skills and enrolling in talent shows all over town. Answering an ad in the back of The Source magazine in the mid-90s, he sent in a one minute acapella rap, and won an opportunity to perform at the New Music Seminar in New York City. He finished second in a freestyle competition and drew the attention of Atlantic Records, who quickly signed him.
His 1996 debut, From Where???, which some labeled an underground classic made his name and talents known throughout the hip hop world while his partnership with Atlantic eventually dissolved. Skillz (then known as Mad Skillz) eventually turned to writing raps for others. Before long he was introduced to soon-to-be rap potentate, Timbaland, through their mutual acquaintance Magoo, and Skillz signed with Timbaland’s label. Though nothing would come of the deal, he appeared on albums like, Tim’s Bio and Indecent Proposal, and toured with Missy Elliott in addition to acted as her hype man. Perhaps most importantly, his fellow-Virginian collaborators showed him how to compose a great song. “Before, it was just me rapping – a battle rap, and then maybe a hook,” he says. “But through Missy and Timbaland, I started paying attention to songwriting.”
He next signed to underground label Rawkus Records, where he released his classic track, “Ghostwriter,” detailing his experiences secretly penning tracks for more-famous artists. Turns out he had become a ghostwriter by accident; a fellow DJ heard him recording one day, and said he’d like to use Skillz’s hook and beat for another MC. Eventually, he came to be known as a first-rate lyrical gun-for-hire, and went on to write songs for Diddy and Will Smith. And those are just the artists he’ll name. “A good ghostwriter never reveals all his clients,” he notes, adding: “I’ve definitely made a lot more money on songs that I’ve written for bigger artists, than for myself. Sometimes it makes sense for me to sell a record rather than hold onto it.”
Skillz went on to record six studio albums and in 2002 year he stumbled upon what would become his signature series. Over Thanksgiving, he was in the process of composing a Neptunes-themed mixtape, when a year-end television special came on, inspiring him to do his own hip hop version. Thus was born his famous “Rap Up” tracks, a holiday tradition for 10 years, heard around the country and even on Howard Stern’s radio show. “Do I want to be known just as “The ‘Rap Up’ guy? No. But do I have something that I own, that people want to hear only from me? Yes. It gets bigger and bigger every year.”
Skillz is also the creator of Hip Hop Confessions, a tv show where purists and hip hop lovers alike reveal something that they’ve never told anyone. Guests on the show have included Q-Tip, Salt & Pepa, MC Lyte, Naughty By Nature, Joe Budden, to name a few.
He has toured the world as a MC for DJ Jazzy Jeff & recently has stepped back behind the turntables himself. Though most would argue that the hip hop industry has declined in recent years, Skillz has managed to survive for a decade and a half by not embracing every trend. Instead, he emphasizes his old-school roots knowing quality music fans will follow him. These days, that’s a downright original concept.
Each party will be complete with GUEST DJ’s dropping gems and special sets, as well as the hosts and resident OG’s, DJ CASPER & DJ FADER dropping your favorite “feel good” records.
To complete the vibe, each week will also feature LIVE artists from the area painting/spraying, local B-Boy crews catchin’ wreck, PLUS JAM DISH will be on the grille cooking up delicious Jamaican food for all the party people in the place as well as Flavor Deluxx serving tacos.
—MUST BE 21+ TO PARTY—
ENTRY = $5 w/o VIP
DRESS CODE = whateva man!