Passenger Profile: Skip Dawg

 by Kenny Kerner
Skip Dawg    
Skip Dawg
I believe this is the first rapper we profiled in this column. According to Skip-Dawg, the combination of Edgar Allen Poe and Run-DMC influenced him to rap. The story only gets more bizarre. Let’s take a look:  [Download Different-Places.mp3]

What first attracted you to music?
At a young age I loved Edgar Allen Poe and Run-DMC, and the combination somehow resulted in my becoming a rapper. I always wrote poems, then eventually raps, then full songs, and by the time I was 10, I was rapping songs for my family.

Do you play any instruments? At what age did you first learn?
I write and perform my songs and lyrics, but I don’t produce the music or play any instruments. I rely on my producers (Beatgods and G-Man) to do the music for most of my songs.these days.

Do you come from a musical family?
Not really, although I do have a cousin (emcee “Furia”) who also happens to be a rapper, which I think is pretty cool.

Who were your musical influences growing up?
Run-DMC, Beastie Boys, Will Smith, LL Cool J, Jay-Z, Jadakiss, The Roots, Wyclef, Missy Elliot, and Talib Kweli.

What prompted you to pursue a career in the music industry?
I always liked writing songs but it wasn’t until college when I actually started performing. Since I ended up loving performing too, it made me realize that music was something I wanted to do as a career, not just as a hobby anymore.

Do you remember the first original song you wrote? What was it called and was it any good?
I don’t remember the first song I ever wrote, but I do remember just before Christmas-time in 8th grade I wrote a song called “I Caught Mommy Freakin’ Santa Claus.” I brought the lyrics into school and showed all my friends. They thought the song was pretty funny, but then our teacher Sister Peggy got a hold of the lyrics and I got in a lot of trouble. For the record, the song was not based on a true story.

How did you come up with the name Skip-Dawg? Does it have any special meaning?
The name Skip-Dawg was given to me during an acting job. Initially, I was hired to play a small role as a UPS delivery guy named Skippy in a show called “The Bodyshop.” However, one of the bigger characters (a rapper) got fired from the show and when the director found out I could rap, he merged my character with the rapper character. Skippy the UPS Delivery Guy became Skip-Dawg.

How would you describe your music?
Pop-influenced Hip-Hop. It may sound like two polar opposite genres but it’s the best way to describe what I have done with my music. If you could mix Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, and The Roots, that is how I sound. I’ve got some commercial rap tracks mixed in with heart wrenching bangers about the sometimes ridiculous things I’ve been through in my life.

What was it that made you join TAXI?
In 2005, I had to have surgery on both lungs. During that time I could not perform and my career as a solo artist suffered greatly. However, it forced me to study other options for my music, such as song licensing, and TAXI seemed like a great place to start.

How has TAXI helped you so far?
TAXI’s constructive feedback on my songs has been and continues to be the single most important factor in my career. The more I improved my songs through TAXI’s guidance, the more forwards and licensing placements I got. Likewise, the more my music improved, the more I became recognized as a serious Rap artist. From album reviews and sales, to meetings with record labels, every opportunity has come because during the past four years TAXI taught me how to improve my music.

What musical accomplishment are you most proud of so far?
My recent album We Will Rise is thus far my proudest accomplishment. It came after a nearly two year hiatus from music during which I underwent two lung surgeries. I got severe nerve damage in my chest from the second lung surgery and I thought my career as a rapper was over. It took 18 months of physical therapy before I could get up on stage and even perform a single song. But from there, I kept getting stronger and better and if you listen to my album We Will Rise you can literally hear the whole story of what I went through play out.

What goals have you set for the remainder of 2009?
During the past year I signed with three sound libraries and I would like to sign with two or three more in the coming year. I have begun pre-production on my fifth album but I am going to take my time with this one and improve upon past works. Other than that, I would like to be seen by more record labels. Everything feels in place — the music, album sales, press, and a supportive fan base – and I think it’s a good time to more aggressively pursue a deal.

Name: Skip-Dawg
Residence: Havertown, PA
Age: 30
Occupation: Rapper
Year Joined TAXI: 2005

See How TAXI Works

"TAXI costs a fraction of a songplugging company."
— Jimmy Clark,
TAXI Member

"I think I'm lucky that I've found out about TAXI so early in my career."
— Djamel,
TAXI Member

"Nothing bad can come from belonging to this unbelievable organization that has definitely allowed my songs to be stronger than ever."
— Justine Kaye,
TAXI Member

"I have been a member of TAXI for the last two years and have enjoyed all the perks membership has offered."
— Dwight Nichols,
TAXI Member

"Thanks to TAXI I no longer have a day job! The membership fee was a drop in the bucket compared to what I have earned because of TAXI."
— George Nelson,
TAXI Member