I love to shed light on women in the music industry who are on the come up. Especially females who came from nothing, but their work ethics are slowly leading them to stardom. Cincinnati rapper Sade Johnson, better known as “Skylar Blatt” is one of my favorite female up-and-coming artists. Her story is so raw and genuine, that it’s not hard not to fall in love with her aura.
Growing up was not easy coming from Downtown Cincinnati. When your environment does not reflect the person you hope to become, it’s difficult to find the strength to motivate you every day. However, music saves Skylar’s life and allowed her to become an inspiration for others.
Skylar rose to stardom after countless freestyles on Facebook live with her friends. After the release of her second mixtape “XXL”, her career began to take off with multiple offers from labels. After getting co-signed by Meek Mill, she decided to work with Dream Chaser. However, that partnership was short-lived after Skylar did not believe that was the right home for her.
After taking some time to rebrand herself, Skylar returned to the scene with her singles “John Wick”, “Urgent Care”, “Mystique”, and “Milli Us”. With her growing fanbase, she decided to sign a deal with ILWT (In Loyalty We Trust Label) in 2021, owned by 2 of her childhood friends. This led to her viral track “F*ck Fame” which has received 237k views on Youtube, and a co-sign from Latto.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Skylar and find out more about craft as an artist, and how she hopes to see her career develop over the years. Check out my interview with one of Cincinnati’s hottest rappers below.
Lyrical Lemonade: You began freestyling on Facebook Live just for fun as a young girl. When did you start taking your craft seriously?
Skylar Blatt: I probably start taking it seriously around 2017. Those freestyles probably started in 2016 I believe. We used to kick it on the weekend and freestyle and have those moments with my friends. We would record ourselves freestyling and the next day when we woke up, everyone would start re-watching the videos. My friends were like you need to rap. This sounds good! So I never took it seriously because I was into sports and stuff so music was always so new to me. Like a rapper? How I’m going to do that? That’s literally how it started with the freestyle.
I have friends that have been in the music industry for years. I went to the studio and the first track I ever made was to Dej Loaf’s ‘Try Me’.
Lyrical Lemonade: How did growing up in Cincinnati influence the artist you became today? Are there any artists from your hometown that influenced you?
Skylar Blatt: It was really like our environment. I’m from Downtown Cincinnati, that’s like the worst part, to be honest. It’s like you’re born to lose. There is no hope, it’s like the hood. Its bums, people in the streets. There is not much motivation there. So it was easy for me, well let me not say easy, but it helped my career because it gave me so much to talk about. Everything I went through and been through, and I have seen so much. Me putting it to words was the best thing I could have done for my life. So now I’m just happy to be one of those people they look up to. There’s no motivation, no hunger. You get adapted to the lifestyle and you really have to wake up and say I’m not living like this because you know, there’s a real life out there. Music really helped me.
I really have my own sound. I was inspired-bound. But it wasn’t like I wanted to base my sound off of anyone else. I wanted my own sound.
Lyrical Lemonade: You have such a distinct sound to you that separates you from other female rappers in the music industry right now. Did you always have this voice?
Skylar Blatt: When I first came out I was rapping more so like hardcore in my voice. But then I was in the mood to try autotune. While I love autotune, I started making melodic music. That’s when I really started gathering a fanbase, but they were only used to the melodic music. They didn’t even know anything about the rap side because I hadn’t done it in so long. I started out rapping, but once I started using autotune, I stuck with that lane for so long. So my mom and my partners were like you need to start back rapping. I was like are you sure? And he was like I’m telling you, you need to start back rapping.
So that’s when I made the record fuck fame. We had the studio in the hotel, and I was like I want to record. I actually recorded that record myself. I even engineered that. So I was in the hotel just freestyling, I came up with it. My friend was right there with me and he was just like that sound goes crazy. He was used to my melodic music and he was just like that shit hard. So once I put fuck fame back out it was a new world. I don’t think anyone remembered that I could really rap!
Lyrical Lemonade: One of the first songs you created 6 years ago was “Go the Hardest”. When I listen to this track there are a lot of similarities to the artist you are today. How would you compare your craftsmanship from then to now?
Skylar Blatt: I’m more relaxed. Back then I used to overthink. I’m more confident, I believe more. I’m just a whole different person from when I made that record. I Freestyle. I’m more so letting it out, building the songs. Like when I made going the hardest, I sat in the house for days trying to come up with the record. Now I just go in there and let it out. I listen to the record, and be like ok I want to touch on this. I feel more in power now and it really starts with confidence. Now I know I’m hot! Back then I was trying to see if the world would like it. I’m just more relaxed and confident now. I’m it.
Lyrical Lemonade: What artist did you collaborate with the most this far in your career?
Skylar Blatt: Hmmm I’ll say Doe Boy. It’s his energy, his energy is everything. He was very smooth. You know he was being himself. I like people that are themselves. I don’t want to meet you and it’s like oh I’m this. Like I want you to pop your sh*t, but I don’t want it to come between us.
He was comfortable. He was wild. For the video shoot, he was just doing everything. You have to remember this was his first time around me too. He was turned up! The vibe I got from him was give it your all no matter what. You know he is the bigger artist in this situation. I could have just paid him for the video and verse and he could have acted how he wanted to act. But he shot the video like it was his video. When I do records, I pay attention to how they act and how they treat people. I’m not caught up on the hype, like that was his inner him. Dope boy for sure.
Lyrical Lemonade: What direction do you believe the female industry is moving in right now? Where do you think you fit in? Is there anything you would change about the female industry at this moment?
Skylar Blatt: I feel like they’re opening the doors for females to be who they are. You know you have female rappers who choose to rap about what they rap about. Like the industry opening lanes for everyone to do everything. It’s not based on you gotta be this way or it won’t work. Like I respect everyone’s hustle. I don’t look down to knock anyone. I’m not saying I’m about to be rapping about my vagina because that’s not who I really am. If that’s who I am, then that’s what I’ll be rapping about because that’s who I am.
If this is who I am, I have to bring that to you. That’s what I have to offer. I feel like they’re opening doors for everyone to be themselves. I rap about straight hardcore street stuff because that’s who I am. I just want it to be fair to everyone. I wouldn’t be like oh you have to be this way or it’s over no. Be yourself because that’s what it’s really about.
Lyrical Lemonade: Why didn’t you believe Dream Chaser was the home for you?
Skylar Blatt: I’m a fair person so if we’re not 50 50 with something I’m instantly like no. I really breathe off of energy. So if I don’t feel like the energy there, maybe God doesn’t want this for me. I’m not going to force anything. I’m not going to be like oh this is Dream Chasers. I’m a firm believer that if he put me in this room, I’m going to be in another room and another room. I’m not caught up in the hype. Dream Chaser didn’t do anything to me, but the effort wasn’t 50/50. It wasn’t any bad blood, nothing bad happened. It was just like nothing. I’m thankful you brought me here and I got to experience this because it’s something else on my bucket list.
Lyrical Lemonade: Let’s talk about “Fame”. This song has over 221k views on Youtube, and it generated a lot of buzz for you. How did this song come together? Do you freestyle or do you write your music?
Skylar Blatt: Honestly, I like my leodic music more. So that was like ok i’m back rapping. Imma put it out whenever. But my friends were like no you need to put it out now. They need to hear this. So I honestly put this out on the strength of listening to others.So everyone was like put it out so I shot it and I put it out and I saw the reaction to the people and how it went and it was like ohh they like it. The record is a dope record. Like see fuck fame, I made it in twenty minutes. Cause it’s like I’m sipping, I’m chilling, I’m just vibing. I don’t want to be out of town not working.
It was more of a vibe. I just caught a vibe and I was like let’s record. Like that’s just me building my flow up. So after I heard my intro, I was like yeah I want to leave this on there. So it helped me come up with the flow. That was a great recordI knew it was going to be big. I actually just put a remix on that, and it’s a female artist. My first time working with a female artist
Lyrical Lemonade: How was it being a part of the ‘From The Block’ movement? How did it feel when you saw Latto’s comment under your video and the support she gave you?
Skylar Blatt: I just am so thankful for real. When she commented, you know it gave me a rush like yeahhh Latto. Cause you know she is a female artist and people don’t really give credit to other hot female artists. So her doing that just earned so much respect from me and the whole city cause it’s like people don’t do stuff like that. She didn’t have to do that. Whether it was hard or not. She didn’t have to comment and say that. She commented and let the world know she felt that.
I feel like at heart she felt that it was hard! Like out of respect like that’s hard! She did that because that’s how she felt. I already had so much love for her. My team already asked me last year who would I work with and I said Latto. She even posted that video on her story. She just didn’t comment. So that just gave me another level of respect for her because she didn’t have to do that.
Lyrical Lemonade: If there were three people you hope to work with this year, who would it be?
Skylar Blatt: Nicki, Drake, and Wayne. Those are my favorites, they have always been my favorites. Like it’s part of my to-do list. I would go with them any day.
Lyrical Lemonade: What can we expect from you this year? Whether it’s music-wise or anything else you might be working on.
Skylar Blatt: I just want the world to know that there’s really things that they’re missing out on. Like they’re really missing out on the stuff I got to talking about. This is something that everybody needs to know. Like everybody got their ways of coming from nothing. But this is a different type of coming from nothing. Some people don’t even know where Cincinnati, Ohio is. The things I am about to do for the world, it’s something they’ve been missing out on for so long. So they can just expect projects, two projects. I’m trying to debate if I want to drop it on my birthday in May or wait a bit longer. So just get used to my face and remember my name. This ain’t that regular sh*t.