The Salvation (Skyzoo album)
|Studio album by Skyzoo|
|Released||September 29, 2009|
New York City, New York
The Durt Factory
De Stu at North Carolina Central University
Durham, North Carolina
|Label||Jamla/Duck Down Records|
|Producer||9th Wonder, Nottz, Just Blaze, Black Milk, Cyrus Tha Great, Illmind, Best Kept Secret, Eric G, Needlz|
The Salvation is the debut album of Brooklyn rapper Skyzoo. The album was released on September 29, 2009, via Jamla Records, founded by 9th Wonder, which is a sub-label of Duck Down Records. Upon release Skyzoo described it as autobiographical and his most personal work. Primarily featuring Skyzoo's lyrics, among the contributing producers are Best Kept Secret, 9th Wonder, Nottz, Just Blaze, Illmind, Needlz and Black Milk. It charted on various Billboard charts, reaching No. 126 on the Billboard 200, No. 4 on the Top Heatseekers, and No. 14 on the Tastemaker Albums chart. The album was generally well received. AllMusic gave it a positive review and a rating of 4/5, while XXL gave it 4/5.
Production and themes
The Brooklyn-raised emcee stated that he had been planning this album since he was 9 years old. The Salvation provides an intricate view into Skyzoo's life and experiences. The diverse range of production and the autobiographical nature is in contrast to his previous releases, with Skyzoo describing it at the time as his most personal work. A tactic taken by Skyzoo to emphasize the personal aspect of The Salvation was to not load the album up with features from other rappers, explaining that "the moment you pick up a pen or start rhyming as a kid, all you think about is getting an album out. This album isn't exactly the way I planned it out at 9-years-old, but it tells my story. With that being said, no one can help tell my story better than me. The Salvation is about me."
The production credits for the album includes Washington D.C.-based production team Best Kept Secret, Seattle's Eric G, and Boston's Cyrus tha Great, as well as 9th Wonder, Nottz, Just Blaze, Illmind, Needlz and Black Milk. Carlitta Durand, an underground R&B singer, is the sole featured artist on the album. About the selection of guest rappers, according to Skyzoo, "it wasn't really a ‘who's hot, who's not’ type of thing. It was more so ‘just get what sounds right.’ I got a lot of big name producers, and I also got a lot of up and comers."
Release and reception
|The Smoking Section|||
The album was originally set to be released on the fourth quarter of 2008, but was later pushed to August 11, 2009, then again to August 25, then finally set for the 29th of September via 9th Wonder's Jamla Records, which is a sub-label of Duck Down Records.
The album was generally well received. AllMusic gave it a positive review and a rating of 4/5, while PopMatters gave the album 7/10. RapReviews.com gave it an even higher score of 8.5/10, while XXL gave it 4/5 and a glowing review. Both The Smoking Section and DJBooth.net gave it 3.5/5. On December 31, 2009, the album was featured as one of the top ten albums of the year on 2dopeboyz.com.
Three official videos have been released from the album so far, starting with "The Necessary Evils" which was released already in May 2008, this song was featured on Corner Store Classic: The Remixes mixtape. The video was directed by Tee Smif of the production company KCCC and shows Skyzoo rapping the song at a stoupe to a Brooklyn apartment in black-and-white shots.
On July 7, 2009, a trailer of Skyzoo's first single entitled "The Beautiful Decay", produced by 9th Wonder, was leaked Duck Down Records' and Skyzoo's YouTube channel. The music video, released on the July 30, is directed by Artemus Jenkins, and sets out to reflect life in the various boroughs of New York.
|Skyzoo - "The Necessary Evils" Music Video (May 13, 2009)|
Following the release of the album, a video for the song "Popularity" was made and released on November 18, 2009. The video, directed by Todd Angkasuwan, is a parody on the popular high-school drama Saved by the Bell.
Restless Films director Court Dunn directed the video for the third single "Easy To Fly" which features underground R&B singer Carlitta Durand. Released on March 15, 2010, the video is an ode to the legendary film "Love Jones". Skyzoo plays as Darius Lovehall, and model Ashlee Ray as Nina Mosley.
On April 21, 2010, Skyzoo released a video for the song "My Interpretation", the final single of the album. The video is directed by Artemus Jenkins who also directed "The Beautiful Decay".
|1.||"The Opener"||Cyrus Tha Great||5:56|
|2.||"Return of the Real"||Just Blaze||4:13|
|3.||"The Beautiful Decay"||9th Wonder||3:54|
|4.||"My Interpretation"||Best Kept Secret||3:45|
|6.||"Like a Marathon"||9th Wonder||3:37|
|7.||"The Shooter's Soundtrack"||Cyrus Tha Great||5:37|
|8.||"Under Pressure"||9th Wonder||3:55|
|11.||"For What It's Worth"||Eric G||4:53|
|12.||"The Necessary Evils"||Needlz||3:42|
|13.||"Easy to Fly" (featuring Carlitta Durand)||9th Wonder||4:29|
|14.||"Bottom Line"||Eric G||3:50|
|15.||"Metal Hearts"||9th Wonder||3:34|
- Sample credits
- "The Opener" prod. by Cyrus Tha Great contains a sample of "December Will Be Magic Again" by Kate Bush
- "Return of the Real" prod. by Just Blaze contains a sample of "Dreams" by Stark Reality
- "Beautiful Decay" prod. by 9th Wonder contains a sample of "How Love Hurts" by The Sylvers
- "My Interpretation" prod. by Best Kept Secret contains a sample of "Back to the Projects" by Johnny Hammond
- "Like A Marathon" prod. by 9th Wonder contains a sample of "When Will My Love Be Right" by Robert Winters & Fall
- "Under Pressure" prod. by 9th Wonder contains a sample of "Walk On By" by The Undisputed Truth
- "Dear Whoever" prod. by Illmind contains a sample of "No One Can Love You More" by Phyllis Hyman
- "Easy to Fly" prod. by 9th Wonder contains a sample of "Seven Long Years" by Bedlam
- "Bottom Line" prod. by Eric G contains a sample of "It's Got to Change" by Lou Ragland
- "Metal Hearts" prod. by 9th Wonder contains a sample of " I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More, Babe" by Barry White
- "For What It's Worth" prod. by Eric G contains a sample of "My Lonely Room" by Dee Dee Bridgewater
- "Maintain" prod. by Nottz contains a sample of "Pretty Flower" by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
|US Billboard 200 (Billboard)||126|
|US Top Heatseekers (Billboard)||4|
|US Tastemaker Albums (Billboard)||14|
- Skyzoo - primary artist
- Skyzoo - The Salvation Artwork + Track List
- Skyzoo to release The Salvation
- Skyzoo "The Salvation" Press Release
- AllMusic review
- "Skyzoo Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-07-21.
- XXL review
- "Skyzoo Hits Studio To Work On New Debut Album "The Salvation" « Street Hop Magazine". Streethopmagazine.wordpress.com. 2008-04-29. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- Stewart, Justin (July 23, 2009). "Skyzoo To Drop "The Salvation" on Duck Down Records". hiphopwired.com. Retrieved 2015-07-21.
- "DX News Bits: Slim Da Mobster, Sky". HipHopDX. July 23, 2009. Retrieved 2015-07-21.
- PopMatters review
- RapReviews.com review
- The Smoking Section review
- DJBooth.net review
- "SKYZOO "The Necessary Evils" Directed by Tee Smif, KCCC". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- "Skyzoo Popularity Music Video". YouTube. 2009-11-18. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- "New Video: "Easy To Fly (Feat. Carlitta Durand)". Dir. By Court Dunn Van Skyzoo Op Myspace". Blogs.myspace.com. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- "Skyzoo – Easy To Fly f. Carlitta Durand (prod. 9th Wonder) (Video)". 2dopeboyz. 2010-03-15. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- "Skyzoo feat. Carlitta Durand - Easy to Fly [Directed by Court Dunn". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- "Skyzoo – My Interpretation (Video)". 2dopeboyz. 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- "The Salvation: Skyzoo: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-03-08.