Spearheading the New York revival, Skyzoo has proven time and time again that his sharp lyricism could be the fuel that helps rocket his style of Hip-Hop back to the forefront. And of course, an affiliation with Just Blaze and a certain former Little Brother producer can’t hurt either. The Salvation, an album that Sky says is 25 years in the making, employs all of the aforementioned to piece together the story of a lyricist by trade in post-Golden Era New York.
Sky begins The Salvation spitting daggers on the heartfelt “The Opener.” Cyrus Tha Great provides the aural soundscape as Sky spits his artist statement for the project to follow. “Return Of The Real” featuring the venerable Just Blaze behind the boards looks good on paper but ultimately Sky bumps the bar instead of catapulting over it. His low enthusiasm and mundane delivery disappoint for someone working with a producer who’s made hits for every major name in the game.
Proving that he does have a trick or two up his sleeve, Skyzoo clears the palate with “The Beautiful Decay.” With one of 9th Wonder’s finest at his back, Sky pays homage to his surroundings and proves his worth in the rat race with a catchy hook over a chopped soul sample. As it seems, the album is riding pretty smooth up to this point, until you hit the 12ft speed bump that is “Popularity,” where Sky claims “My popularity level’s through the roof baby.” (Yikes!) A sloppy beat from Nottz and sloppier bars from the man of the hour make this joint a lame attempt at catering to the swagger-hop crowd. Likewise for later monotonous material in the Eric G. produced “For What It’s Worth” and
Coincidentally, Sky is able to recoup on tracks such as “Like A Marathon,” a dope conceptual joint that plays on the motif of a race throughout the song. Once again 9th provides the track while Skyzoo runs lyrical laps around opponents, throwing inspirational darts to the struggling, blue collar MC’s trying to make a scratch in the rap game.
If you haven’t caught on, The Salvation is front loaded with goodness but suffers terribly from a second half slump. Sky may have failed to deliver the energy and emotion needed to coax listeners into riding with him, but impressive production and the occasional out-of-the-box concept help float this project.