Skyzoo & Pete Rock – “Retropolitan” (Album Review)
Skyzoo is a 36 year old MC from Brooklyn, New York that first gained attention in 2006 with his 9th Wonder debut album Cloud 9: The 3 Day High. This was followed up in 2009 with The Salvation & then the !llmind produced Live from the Tape Deck the following year. Then after taking 2011 off, he came back with his 3rd & final Duck Down album A Dream Deferred. Zoo would go on to form his own label First Generation Rich Inc. & make his full-length debut on there with Music for My Friends in 2015. He would then drop the Apollo Brown produced The Easy Truth under Mello Music Group the following year, but would go back to dropping projects on FGR at the beginning of last year with In Celebration of Us. But almost 2 years later, he’s teaming up with MMG once again for his 8th full-length album & has enlisted the revered Pete Rock to produce it from front to back.
After the “Men Like Us” intro, we go into the first song “Glorious”. Where talks about how he’s just that over a boom bap beat with a soul sample & some horns. The track “Truck Jewels” with Pete sees the 2 spitting knowledge over a woodwind infused instrumental & the song “Carry the Tradition” with Styles P lyrically needs no further explanation, but I really like the claps in the beat a lot.
The track “Homegrown” talks about doing it for the city over a funky beat while the song “It’s All Good” is a positivity anthem with an instrumental that was made during the illmatic sessions.The track “10 Days” finds Rich Porter talking to Azie over a euphoric instrumental while the song “Richie” is vice versa over a boom bap beat with some keyboards.
The track “Penny Jerseys” reflects on his block over the same sample that Gang Starr used for “The Planet” while the song “1 Time” finds Zoo paying homage to a number of things over a smooth beat. The penultimate track “Eastern Conference All-Stars” with eLZhi & Griselda Records is an triumphantly epic posse cut & then the album ends with “The Audacity of Dope”, where Sky comes through with a bar-fest over a soulful boom bap beat.
Personally, this is the man’s best work to date. You can really tell that he & Pete Rock took their time in crafting a near perfect love letter/wakeup call to NYC & a nonchalant chemistry.