as with most rap albums, a few good, a lot not.

Grade - 1.4

released Oct 26th, 2010

from the album - Call Me Crazy - grade 2.0

from all music


With a second-place finish (behind Midwest rapper Supernatural) in the freestyle competition at the nation's most prestigious MC seminar in 1995, this aptly named Detroit native turned Virginian demonstrated his limitless verbal potential. The first salvo fired from Mad Skillz (aka Skillz) was the single "The Nod Factor," a lengthy stanza of which appeared as a memorable Hip Hop Quotable in The Source magazine. Mad Skillz reigned supreme with his brand of harshly wicked witticisms, uncorking the type of sinister rhymes that would make a freestyle foe hang his head in shame. The consummate lyricist, Skillz mastered the unique art of the double-entendre with rhymes like "put your clothes on backwards if you feel like frontin'." The lampooning onslaught came to a head with Skillz's debut in 1996, From Where???, which called attention to the virtually untapped talent within his home state. The album featured a few gems on production from Large Professor and Buckwild and a guest appearance from Q-Tip on "Extra Abstract Skillz." The MC reappeared in 1999 on Rawkus' Soundbombing, Vol. 2 with "B-Boy Document," which also featured Mos Def. In 2000, he released his own single on Rawkus, "Ghost Writer," produced by fellow Virginian Timbaland, the title of which alluded to the fact that he made much of his living by writing rhymes for other MCs. In 2005, the rapper, who was at this point going solely by Skillz, issued the full-length Confessions of a Ghostwriter on Sure Shot, though Rawkus released I Ain't Mad No More, which contained many of the same songs, the following year. The Million Dollar Backpack was issued in 2006 through Koch.

Album Review - from

Virginia wordsmith Skillz returns from a two-year hiatus to release his brand new album, The World Needs More Skillz.

Best recognized for his annual, year-end "Rap Up" record, Skillz recently spoke with SOHH about how his enthusiasm for hip-hop allowed him to pen an album that differentiates from his past work.

If you're ready to experience something different, you should go out and buy this album. Comparing to my last work [2008's Million Dollar Backpack], and I know it's so cliche, but I'm an artist that pays more attention [to hip-hop] than others. I'm probably as close as a fan as any artist could ever be. I still get star struck and excited about certain sh*t like a fan would. So anybody who appreciates good music and good hip-hop, I want them to be just as excited about this sh*t as I am.(5 Reasons Why You Should Buy My Record)

For his fifth album, Skillz secured r&b guest stars such as Bilal, an artist recognized for his collaborations with hip-hop lyricists.

The Bilal collaboration "Wants and Needs," breaks down the struggle between our necessities and our desires. Skillz's object was to refine his style into something even more musical and compelling.(Rap Weekly)

A two-man beat team held down the production in this World.

Behind the boards R. Baker and Dustin "Duece" Scott lay down a bouncing, echoing and strings-hemmed beat that Skillz uses to speak slick rhymes to a particular, currently taken girl: "Let you in on some things you should know / like your beauty grows / you look better than you did ten minutes ago." I don't know if his romantic efforts will succeed, but having the consummately smooth Raheem DeVaughn throw down a hook definitely won't hurt (DJ Booth)

The album's lead single is a love song entitled "Call Me Crazy," featuring soul crooner Raheem Devaughn on the vocals.

"Call Me Crazy" is something a little different from my man Skillz. He decided to go a little more commercial with the R&B flavor and it worked out pretty nicely. It's a smooth and relaxing song that would be perfect to throw on while you're cruising around town, chilling at home or getting down with your lady.

The World Needs More Skillz generated mixed reviews; while some recognize it as a well-crafted LP, other reviewers felt that his punchlines were best served elsewhere.

The structure of the album is nicely put together. After three years, it's mostly Skillz and not chalk full of features to weigh it down. Subject matter is diverse. (The Sermons Domain)

The title track from Skillz's album features punch lines referencing Wheelchair Jimmy, a miniature Jermaine Dupri, Tiny & Toya and Biggie. Need I go on? I have a vague feeling that stand-up comedy or maybe sketch writing could work for this guy if rap ever gets unrewarding for him. (The Smoking Section)

Track Listing

1. Celebrate Life
2. Regular Guy
3. Wants And Needs
4. Call Me Crazy
5. Superbad
6. Enjoying The View
7. Tha World Needs More Skillz
8. Flash Of Genius
9. Going Up
10. R.N.I.T.R.
11. Good Money
12. Adam
13. Still Standing