This past July, 22-year old Harlem rapper Skizzy Mars released his second full-length album, titled Free Skizzy Mars. In his brief career, he has developed a major cult following and impressive underground success with his catchy tunes, laid-back approach and high-profile collaborations with the likes of G-Eazy and Yoshi Flower. He is happy, appreciative, sober, and making the music that he wants to make.
However, after digging around the internet, the general consensus is that in this industry, Skizzy Mars deserves more respect.
That he is criminally underrated.
And truthfully… they have a great point. Less than 3 years ago, Mars dropped out of college to pursue his rap career and has since been able to build a brand of music that should garner more ears than it does. Now, it is fair to look at his numbers and think, “But he has over 1.5 Spotify listeners and millions of plays… how can he be underrated?” Good point. But these numbers are a result of years of work; Skizzy deserves these numbers. They only tell half the story.
Night at the Varsity Theatre
Mars entered the Varsity stage to chants of “Skizzy! Skizzy! Skizzy!” You could easily tell the crowd was really excited to see him. He responded with “This is one of my favorite cities in the country!” A live drummer and guitarist also joined Mars on stage, and both were quite impressive.
Mars played a few tracks of his newest album, including “Calabasas,” “Trippy” and “Waist Deep.” He also played the fan favorites “Girl on a Train” and Yoshi-assisted “All The Time.” After leaving the stage and returning for an encore after chants from the crowd, he finished with the lyrical and introspective “2006,” which begins with the words “Sorry Mom, I’ve been a bad son.”
Between songs, he would let the crowd know how happy he was to be there, give out daps and tell them how much he appreciated them. After being at too many shows were the artist seems cold and aloof, I thought to myself, Now that’s how you should treat your fans. Respect your fans, and in turn, they will respect you.
Calm, Cool and Collected
The entire show was musical, from the set-up of the stage to the live instruments to the lighting. And of course, Skizzy himself. It was only the 5th spot on the tour and he and the band were totally in sync. It was a seemingly effortless performance, mostly because of how relaxed and comfortable Mars is on stage.
After seeing him live, I have developed a new appreciation for his craft. It’s only a matter of time before he sheds his cult status and breaks-through to the mainstream. In fact, it’s probably happening right now. Don’t sleep on Skizzy.