Skip-Dawg offers moving tales in ‘The Illest Emcee’

Reviewed by Howie Mitchell

Skip-Dawg/The Illest Emcee

Praise Skip-Dawg already for sounding nothing like Eminem. Now that Eminem has become the model for white rappers to be compared to instead of – thank God – Vanilla Ice, it’s inevitable that the E-word would be brought up once Skip-Dawg’s skin color was seen. In fact, upon its arrival at the Fear of a Rap Planet office, the first words that our secretary uttered was, “Eminem wanna-be?” Nope, not even close. In fact, I don’t think Eminem has ever rapped with as much heartfelt emotion as Skip-Dawg does on here. On “Here We Go Again,” Skip-Dawg empathasizes with the young men going off to war but then wonders when the American governnment will clean its own streets of injustice and violence. Has Eminem ever displayed such depth?

“Cousins Track…(To Say Goodbye)” is something you rarely hear in rap. It seems to be an autobiographical look at Skip-Dawg’s lung surgeries and the sad feelings of mortality that can overcome a person, especially one as gifted as this, during such a stressful ordeal. “Times in My Life” is a tasty ode to his lady love with witty come-ons like “You do me like the wind does the chimes.” It only clocks in at about a half-hour, but The Illest Emcee will stick in your memory banks far longer than that.


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