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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
|Year Joined TAXI: