After numerous delays and after almost everybody had lost interest, Ski Beatz quietly released his debut album 24 Hour Karate School in late September. Choosing to remain behind the boards for the entirety of the album, Ski enlists a melting pot of rappers from blog favourites (Curren$y, Jay Electronica), to underground mainstays (Jean Grae, Joell Ortiz) and glorified weedheads (Wiz Khalifa, Smoke DZA), fresh faces (Stalley, Rugz D Bewler) to everyone in between (Ras Kass, Jim Jones). The end result is an album with a sound as varied as the emcees it features. Opening up with the official single, “Nothing But Us”, Ski’s triumphant horn sample sets the stage for another vintage, if not typical, Curren$y and Smoke DZA collaboration before moving onto the much more frenetic “Go” for some classic braggadocio and materialism courtesy of Jim Jones and Curren$y. The album reaches its high point on the third track when Jean Grae, Joell Ortiz, and Jay Electronica take on “Prowler 2” and live up to the album’s name of Karate School by roundhouse kicking rhymes over an already neck-snapping Ski Beatz production. From this point on, the album continues its onslaught of impeccable production, but suffers from lyrical performances that simply aren’t able to keep up save for a few exceptions. 24 Hour Karate School then closes with two instrumental tracks that were originally supposed to feature Hip Hop hero Mos Def if not for music label drama. Internet-savvy listeners however, should be able to find the original versions with Mos’ verses intact with no problem, although the album itself does suffer greatly from his lack of presence. Although Ski Beatz’ debut may not have lived up to the amount of hype it gathered, there is no debating his prowess as a wizard behind the production boards. But if he ever decides to re-open the doors to his dojo, his best bet would be to find some more Bruce Lees, and less Steven Seagals.
time on my hands, money on my mind. school, work, and smoke = daily grind. do or do not, there is no try. i quit talking to god when he wouldn't reply. now i pack my blunts with the tip of my rosary. i am what i am, not what i'm supposed to be. stress is far away when loved ones are close to me.
i write when i can, and live when i don't. my weed habit is a lot more controlled than i let on. i like making things with my hands and have a strong appreciation for the little things. i love telling people stories, especially when mary jane is present. one day, it'll all make sense