Skyzoo wants his old New York back. Whether that's the local supermarket of 60 years being replaced by a Whole Foods, or the old lady being forced to leave thanks to surging rent prices, S-K-Y says those in charge "fell in love with the idea of spreading [the city] thin for a buck."
The Brooklyn-bred rapper ushers in that vintage NYC feeling with the gritty "It's All Good" on Monday (Aug. 12), which debuts as the first single on his Retropolitan joint album, exclusively produced by the legendary Pete Rock.
Sky knew he wanted to rhyme over the spacey beat within 10 seconds of Rock pressing play, but the epic backstory behind the 25-year-old creation he would come to find out would only confirm his intuition. "'The crazy thing about this beat is that I made it in '94,'" he recalled Pete further explaining. "'This beat is 25 years old. I never retouched it or re-did it. It came out of the SP-1200. This was when I was making "The World Is Yours" and those sessions.'"
Zoo's understanding of his target market is what has allowed him to carve out a devoted fan base in his evolving decade-plus career. With that said, he wanted to serve up exactly what his listeners would expect when it comes to the heralded rapper's bars colliding with Rock's soulful production. "I wrote the hook to have a little bit of an old-school feel, but without feeling dated," he says. "I wanted the hook to mirror that and bring all of this together. Even when you hear that beat, it's dusty. It sounds like when you pick up a vinyl and blow the dust off."
Retropolitan was recorded in just two weeks at the top of 2019, which was when the 12-track project was originally announced. The joint effort has remained in the mixing stages until they felt it reached perfection for listeners. Simply put, the 36-year-old describes Retro as a "love letter and wake up call to the city."
"It's a New York album, but whether or not you're from New York, you're going to love it," Skyzoo explains after touching on Rock's everlasting prime of a career in music. "If you love hip-hop, lyricism, and incredible beats, you're going to love what you're hearing. [It's] storytelling and production from a top three producer ever, but it's not dated. It's just if the sound of the hip-hop we grew up on continued to be at the forefront and elevated."
Listen to "It's All Good" below. Retropolitan releases Sept. 20.