Ski Beatz fell in love with Hip-Hop as a teen and quickly began writing, rapping, and producing his original music. “At that time, I thought you also had to know how to make beats to be a successful lyricist.” A local rap group, The Bizzie Boyz, quickly recognized his skill and he began doing shows with peers in the region. It was at one of these small venues that Ski met celebrated producer Clark Kent.
Disgruntled with the Hip-Hop scene in North Carolina and encouraged by Kent, Ski left his hometown of Greensboro and moved to New York City. With Kent’s help, Ski formed the group Original Flavor and landed his first major record deal with Atlantic. Original Flavor recorded two albums and are best known for the singles “Here We Go” and “Can I Get Open” which featured a then unknown rapper, Jay-Z.
Ski made a distinguished mark on Hip-Hop with his work on Jay Z’s Reasonable Doubt. His distinctive yet classic, soul sound and formidable sampling technique established him as a first class producer and inspired many of the successful producers that we hear today, from Kanye West to Just Blaze. He followed up this success by producing “Streets is Watchin” and “Who You Wit” on Jay-Z’s sophomore release, In My Lifetime. He continued working and building his discography by producing tracks for artists Camp Lo, Lil Kim, Fat Joe, Big Pun, Foxy Brown, The Outsidaz, Bahamadia and many others.
Today, Ski Beatz is reaping the fruits of his labor and continues to build his Hip-Hop legacy. In addition to producing new music for several R&B and Hip-Hop artists, as well as scoring a few TV shows for MTV, Ski has been making moves like a true entrepreneur. He successfully secured major record deals for several artists that he signed to his own production company, Now City. Most recently, Jay-Z personally signed Now City’s Pittsburgh Slim to Def Jam based on the buzz generated by the Ski produced single, “Girls Kiss Girls.” In July 2007, Ski released a new album along with longtime collaborators, Camp Lo, entitled “Black Hollywood” which was well received by new and old fans alike. Finally, along with his business partner and manager John Notarfrancesco, he started his own independent record label, Redefinition Records, in 2007. The label was formed in order to create another channel through which he could distribute his art as he sees fit, while maintaining 100% creative control. Redefinition Records’ debut release was Ski Beatz’ first solo project, the critically acclaimed LP, “Half Man, Half Amazing.” The album came out in late 2007 and was the first of its kind- half instrumental and half compilation, hence the title. “Half Man, Half Amazing” has been billed as a classic by the media and fans alike, with Ski handling all of the production and guests such as Royce the 5’9, Ras Kass, J-Live, Riz, Statik Selektah, Termanology, Buff1, and Camp Lo handling the vocal duties.
Ski Beatz is rarely seen outside of his home studio, constantly working on his next hot project. And while he still loves to dig up dusty records and chop up samples, he also embraces new, invigorating sounds and production methods. Undertaking guitar, piano, and other instruments, he’s really become an all-around artist and a true musician. One to watch, Hip-Hop’s very own Renaissance Man, you just never know what he’ll do next...Credit:
Performed by Ski Beatz
Composed by David Willis
© 2007, Biggie Music (BMI)