It seems as though skits are a lost art. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times. The industry has become increasingly focused onsingles, and less focused on the development of cohesive projects; although, I guess that’s not entirely accurate as of late. There have been some excellent albums dropping, but none have ultimately revived the subtle art of the skit, which saw some amazingly historic highs throughout the golden era of hip-hop. I thought it might be fun to explore some of my personal favourites, and the artists behind them. Here goes part 1.
WBallz – 187.4 FM on your dial!
As far as skits and interludes go, Snoop Dogg and Dr Dre pretty much set the bar. From the infamous Deez Nuts skit to the more sophisticated WBallz 187.4 FM device that made contributions on The Chronic, Doggystyle and many of the notable releases from Death Row’s heyday. The second example had DJ Sal-T Nuts, and DJ Eaz-E Dick (and the jack-off hour) – as voiced by Ricky Harris –offering colourful commentary, fielding hilarious phone calls and setting up songs. Dr. Dre was also responsible for the skits/interludes on NWA projects, notably NIGGAZ4LIFE, and even the D.O.C’s classic debut. No big deal.
Where my Killah tape at God?
Wu-Tang’s classic debut album, 36 Chambers, had a handful of skits, but only one became the go-to reference point for my grade school class. Raekwon and Method Man, immediately preceding the song Method Man, had a freestyle “torture” battle, naming comically horrifying acts they’d commit against each other. We’re talking everything from force feeding to hangers left on stoves. Ouch.
This is a mothafuckin stick-up!
Redman is a real colourful character, and his skits lived up to his personality. From the possibly evil Dr. Trebis, mock newscasts in the city of Newark, to his over the top — and in a few cases death-defying — robberies, Redman seemingly spent just as much time orchestrating his theatrical (almost) breaks in action as he did crafting his actual classics.
At the height of the G-Unit and Murda Inc. battle, 50 Cent dropped these utterly amazing parody skits throughout his mixtapes (pre- Get Rich Or Die Tryin’). 50 may have gone a bit off-the-rails in the creativity department over the years, but these are a reminder of fun it was to listen to this beef in its entirety.