Tucked in the northwest corner of uptown Manhattan is a relatively well-known neighborhood known as Washington Heights. It holds a proudly diverse community that’s preserved its strong cultural identity through its famously authentic food and street art. However, up until now, there hasn’t been an artist to put The Heights on the map beyond New York City limits, a feat that informs the passionate pen behind the 19-year-old emcee, Lord Sko’s, unrelenting output.
Sko’s refreshing take on Hip Hop oozes nostalgia through his curated sampled production, married with confident flows and clever deep-cut references that only continue to reveal themselves with each listen. His penmanship is mature beyond his years, and he articulates his authentic coming-of-age experiences in vivid detail, charismatically narrating an uptown perspective of the city that’s rarely told. Another undeniable aspect of Lord Sko’s appeal is his instant recognizability. The self-proclaimed ‘Newport Lord’ owns an unmistakably raspy tone to his voice that complements his often grainy and gritty production. Furthermore, it’s apparent that Sko is a student of the game in every dimension of his artistry. Whether it’s through his wardrobe, sporting vintage Pelle Pelle leathers, the experienced company he surrounds himself with, or just simply the versatility of his sound that truly personifies the melting pot of cultures he grew up surrounded by. Although he isn’t the only artist gaining traction from sparking the embers of older aesthetics, Sko is leaps and bounds ahead of his peers with his lyrical ability, charisma, and ear for production. As a result, his music has recently gained a great deal of notable critical acclaim. Sko’s work is resonating with listeners beyond streaming metrics too. I have been fortunate enough to be in attendance for a few Lord Sko shows, and every single time he’s able to translate his successes on DSPs into real tangible tickets. Moreover, the energy at his shows is palpable and nothing like I’ve seen coming out of the underground in recent history. There’s a lot of excitement surrounding his name, and it looks like Sko is ready to go yard with his forthcoming work.
Carrying momentum off the back of his well-received debut album, “MUSEUM”, Sko has just released his highly anticipated single, “Finder’s Fee”, where he shares production credits alongside the uber-talented NY-based producer Arlo Walker. The track features Sko’s signature nonchalant delivery as he pivots from one interesting flow to another from verse to verse. The instrumental is painted with warm saturated keys that tastefully complement a soul-filled humming vocal sample throughout the song’s almost three-minute runtime. The track’s sonics are lush and laid back, offering a perfect soundtrack to recline to, an often overlooked practice in the fast-paced city he grew from. Sko is off to new heights with this single, and the production quality behind this release is proof of that. The music video accompanying the single does an incredible job illustrating the inherent color and character exhibited in the track’s sonics, offering a break from the crowded uptown streetcorners with expansive west coast hills and winding roads.
Tap in with Lord Sko’s latest track, “Finder’s Fee” using the links below!