Skyzoo is one thoughtful guy. The Brooklyn MC couldn’t just make a song dedicated to the man that inspired him to rap. Instead, on the first single to his new LP A Dream Deferred, Sky wrapped his admiration for Chi-Ali in the metaphoric “Jansport Strings (One Time For Chi-Ali).”
For kids growing up in New York City in the 1990s the popular Jansport brand of schoolbags were the ultimate status symbol and the stylish accessory was accentuated by the two multi-colored strings that hung from the bag’s zipper. “That was the bag,” Skyzoo explained when he appeared on “RapFix Live.” “After a while, you would see kids from Brooklyn, or Queens with a bunch of strings… You would take somebody’s strings when their bag was hanging off the back of the chair.
“Whoever had the most strings on their bag was the cool guy,” he continued.
The song “Jansport Strings (One Time For Chi-Ali)” was less about the book bag and more about the state of mind a pre-teen Sky was in the first time he saw Chi-Ali’s “Age Ain’t Nuthin’ But A #” music video in 1992. “Chi was the reason I started rapping,” he said. “I remember telling my mother, I want to do that.”
Sky dropped the single at the top of August, then toward the end of the month Chi was released from prison after serving a 12-year incarceration stemming from a 2000 murder. After Chi returned home, he met with Skyzoo and together they recorded a remix to “Jansport Strings.”
“All of the highlights that I’ve had this is probably the top,” Skyzoo said.
What is your favorite song of Skyzoo’s A Dream Deferred? Let us know in the comments!