Choppin It Up With Skeme

By | January 9, 2012 at 5:49 am | No comments | Interviews, MUSIC | Tags: , , , , , ,

Interviewed by Nsilo Welsh

We caught up with the homie Skeme before he headed off on the W$GT$ tour with fellow West Coast representative Dom Kennedy. It was a chill day on the Block between Fairfax and Rosewood where we met at the new hot spot DOPE to have a brief convo to see what he’s been up to lately. We chopped it up for a minute, touched on a few things and it went a little something like this….

ISM: Some know you as Skeme the Duke, other know you as Skeme for those who don’t know you tell them how you got the name Skeme.

Yeah man, I really earned that nickname as a kid from one of the homies at Centinela Park. He kinda gave me that name cuz I was always plottin’ up on how to get some extra lunch cheese, get a few dollars so I could get about 4-5 Arizonas and some candy. So I took the name and ran with it, they started callin’ me Lil Skeme and I began spreading it like a tag artist. I was probably about 12 or 13 years old when I got the nickname.

ISM: With that being said…let your fans that are outside of L.A/California know what it was like growing up in Inglewood.

That’s the city! I can’t ever complain about my home. That’s everything that’s goin’ on with my music, my influences, the people I hang around, my attitude, the way I carry myself, it’s all good in Inglewood. I got that shit tatted on my back from shoulder to shoulder… thats my town. I love my hometown and my hometown loves me. There is no feeling like that, when you get love where you come from…Straight Up!

ISM: So how did you get your start in rapping and what aspect of it fascinated you enough to want to make it your full time job?

I have a real competitive spirit. The first time I ever wrote a rap was because my Pops had made jokes about me knowing everybody elses songs and was like ” You should try and make your own shit “. So I went out and really tried it. My first shit sucked, but I just kept working at it. The battle thing got kinda big, I was a helluva battler and thats where I got that from and just kept it going from there. Right around the time I got out of high school was when I really started to push the whole writing songs side of it, like Heavy!

ISM: You’ve been blessed to have found your talent at a young age, you have 8 mixtapes under your belt…what continues to be your motivation?

Needing another dollar! You always want to make it up to the next level, you never feel like your done. Its just Ambition! I never feel like the work is done, I hardly ever sleep, its a million niggas around me that will tell you that. If you check my twitter and look at the time gaps, I’m just up. And I dont think I’m going to be slowing down any time soon. I have more mixtapes coming. I’m not sleeping at all!

ISM;: While we are on the subject of mixtapes, from Pistols & Palm Trees to The Statement, who were some of the producers you liked and want to continue to work with on future projects?

Definitely Roosevelt my brother, The Futuristiks, Boy Wonder always; he didnt have to do what he did for me, he definitely came and showed love, the homie B-Boy for sure; that’s my young nigga out here, and the new dude I been rockin with, Resource. That’s my home team right there, that’s who I’m rollin with.

ISM: How did SOX Gang come about and when did that start?

I was about 17 when we started doing that, me and my brother Cire. We were goin’ hard wit’ it, that’s just us, my niggas that I roll with everyday, there isnt a nigga from SOX that I don’t talk to on a daily basis. That’s the Gang, that’s the Family, that’s who I rock with, those are my Brothers, Us against the world and we’ve been about that. SOX stands for Sons Of Excellence. That’s where that came from and we’ve been rollin’ with that ever since… For real For real!

ISM: Tell us a little bit about LAUNFD and what your role in it is.

LAUNFD (L.A Unified) is really the brain child of the homies Pooh Jeter and Baron Davis. Its a networking system for both L.A sports figures and entertainers. My role in the whole scheme of it is being the first artist to really be a part of it and push it like that. Although there are a shit load of NBA cats that are involved, I’m the first artist to do that.

ISM: How was your experience at Paid Dues 2011.

That was crazy to be a part of something that big in the world of hip hop, to be added into that kind of line up is big for me. I’m all about the culture and history of it, so to be included in something with that kind of magnitude is a crazy feeling, especially at such a young age.


ISM: Would you consider that to be a major accomplishment?

Yeah, that was definitely one of those moments where I almost teared up. As soon as I got on stage, the crowd went crazy for me. You never want to get out of living that moment, to have 5000 people rocking with you and knowing your words is crazy.

ISM: From the outside looking in, we cant begin to imagine how that must feel.

It’s Love man! You wont ever feel better than that.

ISM: What does it feel like to be a part of this New West Coast hip-hop movement?

I Love that. I never thought niggas would be putting my name in that kind of bracket and thats tight to me. I never really worked for something like that, like i really just worked just to work. I dont look for those kind of accolades. I work for the money and for the Love of the game. Its an amazing feeling, I Love it and I’m honored. I had Kurupt (Tha Dogg Pound) tell me the other day ” You need to chill out on the second guessing your talents and where you are in the world, you really have to go hard, you have to know you got it, you straight. You in another state every week with no deal…You Good! “.

ISM: Who were some of your musical influences from the 90’s?

I was born in 1990, so from that era of hip-hop I would have to say Biggie and 2Pac. I dont know if Slick Rick counts but definitely from a fashion and jewelry game aspect, he had an influence. UGK, 8Ball and MJG, Three Six Mafia, all that era of southern hip-hop, and I think that’s about it from the 90’s, all the other cats I was rocking with were early 2000’s. Definitely when Cash Money hit the scene, that changed my view on hip-hop and how I looked at it.

ISM: To wrap it up, what is your ultimate goal as an artist?

Really man… just to get my voice heard and be able to stay living how I want to live by doing what I want to do, as a Man, not really as an Artist, at any time I could really care less about that. As a Man I want to be able to say, in life I do what I please to do and I live comfortably off that. That’s Freedom! That’s one thing you really can’t buy and niggas can’t really get to it. A lot of people dont really get to that point in there lives…so that’s what I’m trying to attain out of this, Real Shit! I come from a lot of things in my past that were not perfect and I got through that and we here now. I dont plan on getting out of that spotlight or veering away from it or moving backwards from where it is right now…. All the way to the Top!

ISM: It was great being able to hang with Skeme and pick his brain for a second. To get further in tune what him, his lifestyle, and his music, you should definitely check out his website and be sure to follow him at. S/O to Matt and Alpha over at DOPE for creating the perfect setting and allowing us to do our thing, its always Love with those guys! Be sure to check em out when you’re in L.A for the good vibes and fresh apparel.



Photo shot by Bianca Giovanna

© 2011 ILLSOCIETY Media Group LLC. All rights reserved.