In just over two weeks (September 20), Skyzoo & Pete Rock are releasing their joint album, Retropolitan. The 12 all-new songs finish a campaign that began at the top of 2019. Styles P and Raheem DeVaughn are among guests. However, one song contains an arsenal of lyrical talent. “Eastern Conference All-Stars” finds Elzhi, Benny The Butcher, Conway The Machine, and Westside Gunn joining Pete and Sky’s party.
“When putting together Retropolitan, one of the first ideas I had was to put together the ultimate posse cut, with everyone who’s on the record being who I always had in mind” Skyzoo recalled in a press statement. “Something in the vein of DMX’s ‘Ni**az Done Started Something,’ JAY-Z’s ‘Reservoir Dogs,’ LL [Cool J]’s ‘4,3,2,1,’ etc. I broke the idea down to Pete, and he immediately played this beat. Pete knew exactly what would work for us to go bar crazy. When you put five top-tier lyricists on the same team at the same time; a blowout game ensues. Glad to have my peoples, who happen to be some of the best in the biz’ penmanship wise all in the same starting lineup for this all-star game.
Sky opens the song, followed by B.E.N.N.Y., Con’, and El. Gunn plays cleanup in the song that boasts five confident and talented MCs. Pete, who dug in his ’94 stash of leftovers for lead Retropolitan video single “It’s All Good,” uses another creation that has a mid-’90s vibe. Piano keys and hard drums are not unlike the things Pete was lacing AZ, Nas, and his and C.L. Smooth’s The Main Ingredient. Like an all-star game, each MC has fun within their circle of respect. This is an elite moment from some artists who have fought to keep Hip-Hop pure, without compromise.
Brooklyn’s Skyzoo was among the first established MCs to collaborate with Buffalo’s Griselda on a recurring and meaningful level. He appeared on Con’s 2015 Reject 2 project. That same year he featured on a Wes’ video single, “Rolacks.” In 2016, Sky and Apollo Brown welcomed the two MCs on single, “Basquiat On The Draw,” another Mello Music Group drop.
Last year, Pete worked on Gunn’s Supreme Blientele, named one of Ambrosia For Heads‘ best albums of 2018. New music from Pete, Benny, Wes’, and Conway is presently included on the official AFH playlist.
#BonusBeat: A recent video featuring Skyzoo and Pete Rock covers the making of Retropolitan: