Skillz The Ill Critic
November’s featured artist is Skillz The Ill Critic
In 2010 Skillz became an inspiring rapper to the youth of the Hip Hop Culture Center Edutainment program. He was also awarded first place winner of H2C2’s 4th Annual Rapathon while balancing his career as a writer and photographer for Xplosive Magazine. In addition, Skillz maintains his manager role of group, Paper Game, whose fan base has grown tremendously since the early 2000’s.
Most fans recognize Skillz as one of the original members of Time Square Hustlers where he sold thousands of “units” on the streets of Time Square. Skillz was discovered in the early 90’s when he met Melle Mel and the Furious Five and was invited to rap live on NY’s very own Hot 97FM. He was brought on as a guest rapper for the Furious Five “Mic Check” show. Skillz was featured on other radio stations like 91.9fm “The Wonder Twins Show” and “Ready C & Walking L Show”.
Through the years Skillz has participated in several events such as “Fight Klub”, “Source Unsigned Hype” along with S.I.R. Studios and plenty of street battles. He has appeared in TV shows like MNN, Bronx Network, WB 11’s “Toni Time”, and NY 1. Skillz first album was created in the mid 90s on cassette tape and was titled “The Streets Infected”, this gave him a big jump start on his rap career. Not long after technology changed from cassette tape to CD’s. You can say he definitely changed with the time when he released his second album on CD titled “Criticism Part 1”, most of his songs were played on 91.9FM.
In 2001, Skillz started working on his third album titled “Criticism Part 2”. The attack on the World Trade Center occurred while Skillz was recording this album but he didn’t let that stop his motivation. In fact he recorded nine songs in one day and birthed tracks like “The World Trade”, ‘Revelation”, “Every Day”, and his most spoken about single “Criticism Remix”. A couple of months later Skillz took his act on the road to perform in a 20 state tour. This tour gave him the opportunity to create a worldwide fan base. Skillz released a number of underground mixtapes and has been featured on over a dozen independent albums.
In 2005 Skillz started a group with business partner, Joey Wells. The group consisted of seven members and was called Paper Game, by 2006 the group was down to five members. Skillz had to reinvent himself when his business partner was incarcerated for five years in the Feds. Three years later another member named Reck Da Kid got incarcerated. Skillz was the only hope for the group but never let it slow him down. He linked back up with an old friend named Raaddrr Van who gave him the opportunity to come back as a solo artist by introducing him to the 4th Annual Rapathon. He was crowned MVP of the 27 hour event that featured over 150 rappers.
The story behind the name: Skillz got his name at the tender age of 8 years old when he received a pair of turn tables for Chritmas. He started doing house parties and took on the alias, DJ Skillz. About ten years later he met Raaddrr Van in Times Square and he gave him the name, The Ill Critic.
Over the years Skillz has networked with artists such as Mr. Cheeks, Kin Sun, Jin, 40 Cal, Byrd Lady, Shiesh Buzz, Melle Mel and The Furious Five, Ralph McDaniels, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Chubb Rock, Cuban Link, Method Man, Raekwon Chef, Pos- De La Soul, Lauryn Hill, John Forte, Camron, Styles P, The Cold Crush Brothers, D12- Bizzare, Freddro Star, Fat Joe, Vado and many more.
To learn more about Skillz visit his websites below:
Youtube: Skillz The Ill Critic