North Carolina emcee SkyBlew is one of those rhyme slingers that doesn’t waste sixteens on meaningless gobbledygook. Whereas most of your favorite rappers would rather spend their verses trying to string together simplistic catchphrases for radio play or continuing to paint some over-exaggerated big baller/ mafioso lifestyle they don’t really lead because “that’s what rappers do”, Sky prefers to utilize his songwriting ink to feed the mind, consistently spilling out thought-provoking messages and notes of inspiration alongside vividly-scripted, torn-from-real-life vignettes that, thanks to a youthful spark in his flow, never once feels overly preachy or “Get off my lawn!” fuddy-duddy.
On new single “Running In Place”, featuring the soothing vocal seasonings of singer Sarah Kaboom and a rumbling, early-Kanye-esque street-soul knock from producer U’Nique Music, SkyBlew’s particular brand of conscious-tinged lyrical finesse is put to fine use to document the struggles of a young mother and her baby-daddy both caught in self-destructive downward spirals fueled by drugs, depression and despair (“They try to run from their problems/ Hoping they can solve them/ With no direction/ They don’t know where to go/ So they just running in place, tryna fill up that space…”).
Kaboom and U’Nique help to set a fittingly sobering mood, but it’s the screenwriter’s-like eye for rich detail and a tense, dramatic story build embedded in the rhymes of SkyBlew and guest star Dasan Ahanu (an emcee/ poet who doubly impresses with a dexterous, rhythmic delivery) that makes this one extra special, the perfect buzz generator for Sky’s upcoming debut Window Seat On That Midnight Train.
Check out the track below, along with its equally solid inspirational-themed B-side, the shimmery, 80’s electro-funk-glazed “Stars All Around Us” featuring and produced by Big Fok. Both can be purchased here for a cheap, cheap $0.50.