“I Need Somebody” is SKGLIZZII’s hip hop ode to truth and redemption
By Kurt Beyers
SKGLIZZII’s “I Need Somebody” is a love story, a tale of justice miscarried, a life going off the rails, tragedy, and redemption all rolled into one and told in hip hop.
The lyrical tone is neither bitter nor mournful. It is simply what happened, and it is all the more compelling as a song because of that. The music magnifies the matter-of-factness, the electronic piano tones carrying the story along like a raft on a river, light drums providing emphasis.
“It’s true. It is, really. It’s my pain, it’s what I went through in a two- or three-year span,” said SK.
They fouled me wen they hit me with dat body yea
Stick’n’ to the code of staying silent yea
He was charged with first-degree murder, facing a death penalty, basically because he followed the street code of silence out of loyalty to a friend. He was jailed for almost two years before being exonerated.
“It’s true. Every bar, bar for bar, every bar is pain,” he said. “Bar for bar is release though. I released a lot of stuff, a lot of pain, a lot of stress, a lot of agony on to that record.”
The “I Need Somebody” video is framed as a counseling session at the beginning, then flashes back and forth to other scenes as he tells his story.
My first child was born while I was in that cell
Praying for them better days and waiting on that bail
I lost my momma while I was lock and stuck up in that jam
They just don’t know that broke my soul
His mother died shortly before he was released. During this time, he turned to substance abuse, and that’s in the song, too.
So is blessing:
My sister answer global tel like when u coming home
My nephew nieces said they love me and they miss me so
They just don’t know that blessed my soul
His involvement with music predates his legal troubles, which ended late last year, but since then he has begun making a musical career with “Way2Real, House of Kings” in his hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina.
“I Need Somebody,” released earlier this year, was his first. It has racked up more than half a million streams on Spotify alone. His second release, “Free Big Slime,” has more than 150,000, and he has more than a hundred thousand monthly listeners.
His music began when he was young.
“I grew up in a Christian home, so you know it was gospel, but in my mom’s house Saturday was the cleanup day. The whole house, top to bottom.”
While they were working, they listened to music, but not just hip hop and rap.
“We listened to reggae — which I love, it’s one of my favorite genres — we listened to reggae, we listened to rock, we listened to pop. All that. My mother’s thing was, ‘You’re not just going to listen to this rap and this hippity hop thing. You’re going to listen to everything.’ That’s what she used to call it, ‘hippity hop.’”
It was a well-rounded musical education, he said, that “grounded” him.
“It helped me know how to do music — period. it helped me understand music and helped my versatility.”
His first two songs are this hippity hop thing, but, he said, “I am very versatile. When it comes to SK, you won’t know exactly what you’ll get, but you know you’ll get greatness. I don’t want to label myself as just a hip hop artist. I don’t want to just label myself as just an R&B artist, or pop. I just want to be an icon. I want to be there and just make good music. That’s my goal, what I see in my career.”
With Way2Real, SK says, he has a great team behind him, as well as a sister organization to the label, House of Kings, a ministry that helps keep him on the straight road.
“We’re taking this serious. I’m taking this serious. This is something I want to do in my life.”
Plans for the near- to medium-term include more songs, more videos (Way2Real has its own YouTube channel), an EP or album, and making music in other genres in addition to hip hop, including reggae, R&B, rock, and more.
“I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for God, man. That’s a fact, and, you know, that’s one thing about SKGLIZZI is I’m going speak the truth. I’m gonna speak. I’m ready to get it going to the next level. I can’t wait ’til ya’ll hear these next projects.”
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