Skillz sat down with BET to speak on his annual “Rap Up” series, as well as phantom-scribing for Will Smith’s kid…
BET: Do you take notes when something big happens, like, “I need to include this on the ‘Rap Up,'” or do you just sit down at the end of the year and come up with it?
Skillz: I don’t really start thinking about the “Rap Up” until like Thanksgiving. This year, I actually did it kinda late ‘cause I never really intended to do it. I was pretty much done with it. Then through the power of Twitter, I actually started to realize how many people were upset. I couldn’t believe it. Y’all really mad? It was like 8 o’clock New Year’s Eve and people were like, “Yo, it’s not out yet. I haven’t heard it.” And I was seeing tweets from people saying like, “I’m in church and I just walked outside so I can get service on my phone to check on the “Rap Up,” there’s no “Rap Up”?” So then at 12 midnight, I tweeted a picture from an old Cam’Ron interview with Cam’Ron laughing and it says, “You mad?” as the text of the picture. When I did that, oh my God, it was anarchy. It was like hell froze over. People was cussing me out, like, “That’s f****d up, you’re breaking the tradition, you got lazy, n***a.” Over a free song? How are you gonna demand a song that you’re not gonna pay for? So then people were like, “I would pay for it.” So I was like, “Ok word, you’ll pay for it?” Let’s see.
BET.com: What else are you working on?
Skillz: I put an album out. “The World Needs More Skillz” came out October 27. We’re about to shoot the second video for that. I got a Travis Barker remix, the cut that I’m about to release, I got a couple of new videos. I did this movie last year. Me and Jazzy Jeff are collaborating on an album this year. I’m still hosting parties, working on songs. We’re working on some stuff for Willow Smith’s album.
BET.com: How did that come about?
Skillz: I mean, you know, I worked with her dad [Will Smith] on a few projects before so you know I have a relationship with him. It was just a natural progression like they’re doing music so, you know, that door’s always open. I’d be crazy not to try to walk through it, so we’re working on some stuff. Her Roc Nation debut will be out probably next year.
BET.com: What’s it like writing from the perspective of a 10-year-old girl? (Ed. note: Pause again, granddad.)
Skillz: I mean, I can write for anybody. It’s just stepping outside of yourself, looking at the market and realize on what’s missing and try to fill that void. We all throw darts, sometimes they stick, sometimes they don’t. But, you know, you keep going.