I Can't Call It: Retropolitan - Skyzoo & Pete Rock

Posted On Monday, September 23, 2019

Skyzoo is EASILY one of the dopest MC's walking the planet earth right now. From his debut album "The Salvation" from '09 to last year's "In Celebration of Us" this dude has never put up a brick and not too many MC's can say that. Now the only problem I've had with Sky's discography is none of those album (for me at least) have been 5 mic classics. And to be honest, it has nothing to do with Sky. In fact Sky reminds me a lot of Giannis Antetounmpo the Greek Freak. And what I mean by that is if Giannis doesn't win a chip it won't be his fault. It'll be the fault of the team that Milwaukee built around him. See, for me the things that has kept those albums from being classics has nothing to do with Sky and everything to do with his production. Now don't get it twisted, I'm not saying the production on those albums weren't dope but as an entire body of work, I've never been blown away by Sky's production. So when word got to ear that Sky was linking up with the Chocolate Boy Wonder Pete Rock for an ENTIRE album I felt like this could be the missing piece like I did back in '01 when the Sixers pulled the trigger on that Mutombo trade and we made that Finals run! So I SHOULD be able to pencil Sky linking with Pete Rock for an entire album that basically a love letter to NYC as a 5 mic classic the same way I can pencil the 2019-2020 Sixers into the NBA Finals right?

"Retropolitan" sets off with "Glorious" with is absolutely bat shit CRAZY and has us off to the races, "shout to my block and all the fiends who be across it and the new Goldilocks bitches screaming over porridge/you couldn't take the Brooklyn outta me if you were offered, burnt these blocks shit you can keep it if you want it/if tomorrow should get up away from me before the morning, my tomb will read he did it from the P's to the coffin/right untucking what no one could ever fuck with but knowing that the way it was folded is how it snuck in/Brother Mouzone bowtie, know the way I float mine, you know Sky, know I'm lo-fi meets Sosa." "Truck Jewels" featuring PR is classic NYC boom bap and it's only right that "Carry the Tradition" uses the classic Mountain Long Red break and has Sky & Styles killing it while "Homegrown" has Sky playing with mofos like he was Booger Smith at Soul in the Hole, "tried to make it all make  sense like more adderall, where every note carry over like if I has a horn/caught a way of revisions of 40 acres, so know when I talk D's I add a Lee like Cannonball/Adderly...Cannonball...never mind, that'll make sense tomorrow if you get the time." Did this mofo just say "add a Lee like Cannonball/Adderly, Cannonball..." going back to the earlier line "where every note carry over like if I had a horn" bringing it all back to the legendary jazz saxophonist Cannonball Adderly?!?!?! Yeah...Sky's just showing off now.

I won't hold you, when I first heard the first single "It's All Good" I wasn't blown away and thought it was aiight but now hearing in within the album, I REALLY mess with it. "Ten Days"sets off with a clip from the classic "Paid In Full" and has Sky telling the story of the classic NYC hustler, "cherry Beamers, 35s on the windows, or we can stash these and tag team on the benzos/prayers up to the etiquette baby never forget tho/pull up in front of Willie Burgers and let a flick roll, 38 in my shearling word to my zip code/Dealer man turned my back seat into Nintendo, fucking up shorty fingers waves I'll get em fixed tho." "Richie" is just oozing with that PR soul and sounds like the sequel to Pete & CL's "Da Two" off "Soul Survivor" back in '98 and it's also dope to see that Pete hasn't lost his sense of humor with blessing us with interlude beats that we all wish someone was spitting over cause the interlude right after "Richie" had me hype as hell to hear Sky spit on but of course...no haps. DAMN YOU PETE ROCK! Sky's bars on "Penny Jerseys" takes me right back to the 90's when Penny Hardaway was my favorite player and reminds me of when I would step outta the crib on my block back in Philly with a new pair of kicks on, "then I threw my Penny's on and my block hit a pause, like Skyler them shits is hard/then my block hit applause, cause I had the jersey with em and it had just hit the stores" and "One Time" featuring DC's favorite son Raheem DeVaughn sounds like some ill celebratory hip hop anthem with the old school PR S950 filter in full effect while "Eastern Conference Finals All Stars" featuring Conway, Benny, Westside Gunn & Elzhi is just as dope as anyone with half of a brain would think it would be. But my fave track on "Retropolitan" is EASILY the album's anchor track "The Audacity of Dope." I truly can't explain just how f&%king bonkers this songs is and ends "Retropolitan" on a PERFECT note! "Grew up with real Huxtables dealing with real Carters, due to what they took but told you to still harbor/and the way that it rides I'm just taking what's mine, but forgive me for trying to steal honor like Killmonger/praise due to the corner stores that I'm still part of, and for me being able to come home to my real father/all of this was said one way or another, but when it's told hand in hand it replaces the stutters/applause for understanding the fate of the runners, because I wouldn't go home until I made all my jumpers/pardon me for seeing all of that with all three eyes, while I was drawing a line and shooting off from behind/the rims never had nets but it would all be fine, the crib never saw it all, they was drawing the blinds/picture all I described and add a Lex 450 double parked outside, with Frank White at the wheel, I took that, put it in back in light of the real/it's all or nothing like if you was trying to write an appeal, moral being you all got some audacity/you top 20? I'm half that at least and that's modest, if we're being that honest then can't too many follow this Stage left, curtain drawn, Retropolitan." I mean come on ya'll...can you REALLY end an album on a doper note? Nah...you can't.

There's SO many dope things about "Retorpolitan" that I don't even know where to begin. Do I start with Sky? I mean, I could but if ya'll don't already know how dope he is, like Souls of Mischief said, "that's where ya lost." So, then do I start with the Pete and the fact that Soul Brother #1 is STILL making DOOOOOOOPE beats 25+ years after the first time we heard him getting busy will CL on "The Creator?" Nah...no need to start there cause I would pray ya'll already know Pete is a certified legend. So how about I just start with the OG question of is after listening to "Retropolitan" does Sky's love letter to NYC and linking up with one of the dopest hip hop producers EVER equal him finally getting that 5 mic classic my ears have been waiting for? Well, in the immortal words of my guy Phineas, "why yes...yes it does."

5 outta 5 mic

1 comment

  1. Well said my dude! 5 mics! I've been rocking it non stop since Friday night.


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