And with good reason.
Skeme - "The Statement" [Audio]
Through a slew of mixtapes, the Inglewood rapper has positioned himself within the ranks of the new West Coast rappers invading Hip-Hop.
Today marked the release of his latest mixtape, The Statement, and one day before the tape hit the internet, the 21-year-old rapper explained to Hip-Hop Wired exactly what kind of statement he's looking to make.
Continue reading to check out our Q&A interview with Skeme.
Hip-Hop Wired: Your new mixtape is title The Statement, so what kind of statement are you trying to make with this mixtape?
Skeme: Really just trying to define myself as an artist, and as a man in general. Just let my fans, and my listeners and whoever may be listening that might be new to the situation know who I am as an artist. That's really the statement that I'm trying to make.
Hip-Hop Wired: The last mixtape you put out was Pistols & Palm Trees, what's going to be the difference in that tape from last year and The Statement?
Skeme: Really just the growth, the maturity between then and now. I put out Pistols in October of last year, so just the material and the growth between then and today. That's really the biggest difference in the music. I think the beats might be a little more upbeat than before. Other than that, the main focus will be the growth.
Hip-Hop Wired: You got a good response from Pistols & Palm Trees. What are you going to do to top that, or what do you expect when you put the mixtape out?
Skeme: From past experiences on life in general, I really don't put no expectations on anything. I just make the music, that's really where my head is at. Just make the music and make dope music. Hopefully everybody receives it. That's what I've been working on for the past six months. I hope that the people that really loved Pistols, like this project just as much as they love Pistols, if not more. And then capture new listeners at the same time.
Hip-Hop Wired: What are your favorite tracks on the mixtape?
Skeme: It's hard to pick one, so I'ma give three. I'ma say the three are “Westside Rooftops,” “Krazy (Ape Isht)” and “No Strees,” those are my three joints on three. “Westside Rooftops” is one of the first songs that I knew was gonna be on the project. So that in itself was enough for me, and the writing process behind that was crazy. “Ape Shyte Crazy,” I really love that track, I'm attached to that one just because of the energy behind that song.
It's a new feel, when people hear it, they'll know that it doesn't sound like anything in hip-hop at the moment. I'm glad to finally have one of those songs under my belt. And “No Stress” was really just a personal moment for me, where I just let everything go on the record at one time, and I feel like that's one of the realest songs. And I had the pleasure of putting my big bro on that song, shout of to DOM Kennedy.
Skeme Ft. Dom Kennedy - "No Stress"
Hip-Hop Wired: Speaking of DOM, it seems like the West has a lot of fresh new talent---DOM Kennedy, Kendrick Lamar, Nipsey Hussle, Pac Div, Odd Future, Casey Veggies, yourself---how do you feel about the new state of West Coast hip-hop right now?
Skeme: Man, I'm in love with it. I'm happy just to be a part of that conversation. I'm glad that everybody got there eyes out here right now and watching us do what we do. Like I said, it's an honor and a privilege just to be able to rock and be in that same sentence as people who are a part of this New West thing, or the renaissance of West Coast artists at the moment.
Hip-Hop Wired: None of you all have all the way blown up yet. Why do you think that is?
Skeme: I think everything is in due time. I don't think anything is going at the wrong pace. No one is jumping any steps in being a main factor in this game. I think everything is going at the right pace. You wouldn't want to see anybody be an overnight success. That's not cool, we're all paying our dues at the moment.
Hip-Hop Wired: Cali Swag District is a group from your way in Inglewood. They had some mainstream success. They had a member, M-Bone, that was killed in Inglewood last week…
Skeme: Yeah, that was my homeboy. Rest In Peace to Montae "M-Bone." I just told Skee the other day, my last experience with dude was just playing 2K. To have a friend of yours that was taken away like that is crazy, for real, for real.
Skeme - "Let It Breathe" [Video]
Hip-Hop Wired: What are you going to do the night before the mixtape comes out? Do you have a ritual or anything that you like doing before you release a project?
Skeme: The nights before we put out projects, I just go chill with my "day ones," my homeboys that's been ridin' with me since day one, that would be supporting me whether I was doing music or not. Whether it be just chill, play 2K at the house together, we'll do something, go to dinner, it doesn't matter. Just as long as I'm around them the night before, I'm cool, and then I'm ready to go see the world the next day.
Hip-Hop Wired: For a rap fan that has never heard your music, what would you tell them to encourage them to download and listen to your mixtape?
Skeme: Like I said, I don't think there are too many artists who are in the game right now with the kinda range that I got and the kinda ability that I got. I have to be able to do different types of songs…like whether I wanted to do a club record or a record about street dealing or whatever, it might be a girl song or an emotion record about things from your past.
I don't think there are too many artists in the game that can actually handle that platform of music and being able to have that range. So I think it'll be dope for somebody to go get that, and it's like an eclectic collection on record.
Download Skeme's new mixtape, The Statement, here.