Though I’ve never really bought into the importance of freestyling as a necessary skill for a rapper (I see much more value in a rappers ability to write a song), I can’t deny the visceral thrill of watching a wordsmith spitting rapid fire over a beat. While Skyzoo’s “The Definitive Prayer” may not be technically be a freestyle, it does capture that same sense of cathartic release. It’s off his upcoming mixtape with 9th Wonder entitled The Great Debator.
The song comes equipped with a video that strips rapping down to its absolute basics. It features Skyzoo sitting in a basement with the harsh glare of a single light bulb cutting through the darkness. There are no big booty women, fancy whips, or stacks of cash being thrown at the camera. Neither for that matter, is there a hook or chorus. It’s just Skyzoo and his words. . Anything that will distract you from his lyrics has been stripped away.
|The Rhymes are all that matters.|
The only other thing that demands attention is the musical accompaniment, which is also offered in an unaltered matter. Skyzoo raps over "Holy Thursday" by David Axelrod. The song was previously sampled by Lil Wayne for “Dr. Carter” as well as Buckwild’s remix for Artifacts “C'mon Wit Da Git Down.” It’s not a looped sample either. The whole song is allowed to play out in its entirety. It’s reminiscent of similar efforts by Ghostface.
Skyzoo essentially raps over the record as it plays, conforming to its peaks and valleys. He races breathlessly over it, sans any vocal gimmicks. Skyzoo subtlety alters his energy and breath control according to the songs changes. Since the entire song is an instrumental, it sounds pretty natural. The pulse of the song quickens during its closing moments, as does Skyzoo’s flow.
The lyrics offer abstract pictures that can only be fully appreciated with attentive ears and close analysis. They aren’t at all meaningless, but I prefer to just let the unfocused energy of Sky’s rant pour over me. He may not be the most charismatic MC, but he’s sharpened his darts to their utmost. Kenneth Price has given him a wonderful visual metaphor. That single bulb shines ever so brightly; with nary a lamp shade to soften is glare. Its light is raw, as is Skyzoo’s talent.