Band/Artist Profile

DBB Artist Profile: SkyBlew

Mario Farrow, aka SkyBlew, is one of the Triangle’s brightest rising hip-hop stars with a style all his own. The Chapel Hill rhyme spitter’s story started in Alabama where he grew up bouncing from foster home to foster home and surrounded by inner city violence. He used this strife to create a space for himself via rap lyricism that would help him rise above the turbulence mentally and physically. Drawing inspiration from cartoons like “Rocco’s Modern Life” and “Dragon Ball Z,” his music is inspirationally positive, and never glorifies the horrors of street violence.

To classify SkyBlew as “nerd-core” is the kind of box he doesn’t want people to put him in. His rhymes aren’t all nerd all the time, there’s more depth, more soul. Recently he started playing live with a jazz accompaniment that brings his whole brand together, so to watch him perform is almost like a mix of The Roots and De La Soul.

Featured by notable media outlets like MTV, HYPERFRESH, DJ Booth Magazine, 2DOPEBOYZ, and Afropunk, SkyBlew is on his way up and ready to stake his claim in a hip-hop environment that’s beginning to turn its head toward North Carolina. Recently he did a regional tour of the Southeast with video game rapper Mega Ran, and released an exceptional EP with Scottie Royal entitled The Royal Blew Reverie that is sure to keep the heads ringing well into 2016.

Charles Morse, WKNC Underground Music Director

See SkyBlew on Night 2 of this year’s Double Barrel Benefit!


Hopscotch Hip Hop Playlist

Already wanting to relive last weekend’s rap showcases? Stand in front of a subwoofer and turn this playlist up!

Falcons ft. Goldlink & Chaz French – Aquafina
Le1f – Hey
Father – Young Hot Ebony
Pusha T – Millions
Goldlink – Dance On Me
Lizzo – Lizzie Borden
Moonbase Commander & Cakes Da Killa – Serve It Up
Skyblew – Pucture That

Listen to Hip Hopscotch 2015 by Charles on @AppleMusic.

Festival Coverage

Hip Hopscotch 2015

Whoever curated Hopscotch’s hip hop lineup did a great job this year. On top of that, every rapper that performed at the festival deserved to be there, especially rising local stars like Skyblew and Ace Henderson. If you were a Hip Hop head at Hopscotch, there was more than enough material to keep your head nodding and your hands in the air.

Things started well on Thursday night when Lizzo took the stage at CAM. She may be one of the best artists I’ve ever seen on stage, and actually made me feel happy inside while she was performing. Maybe it was the sugar from the cookies she tossed out to her fans during the performance of her most popular single, “Batches & Cookies.” Either way she sang, rapped, and danced her way through her performance with swag for days, and kicked things off with a bang.

Friday at Lincoln Theatre was maybe one of the best nights at a music festival that I’ve ever experienced. Skyblew started off the night in front of a sparse crowd, but brought great energy with his jazzy backpack rap style. Then Chaz French took the stage and switched the vibe to a totally different pole by turning the treble down, and the bass way the f@$k up. He moshed his way through a set that landed himself in the middle of the audience, getting down with his fans (myself included), and setting the house on fire. He was followed by Father, who seemed like he had better things to do than rock with Raleigh folks, but the crowd got even thicker, and even rowdier with his presence.

Then Pusha T came out and conquered the festival. There was so much love in the building for King Push and it made me exceedingly proud as a hip hop head to be a part of it. If any veteran rapper deserves it, it’s him. Thanks for that Raleigh. Pusha T appreciated it too by tweeting: “Murdered #Hopscotch15 no fans, just family… love”         

After the extreme energy of Friday night, Cakes Da Killa and Goldlink had some big shoes to fill at CAM on Saturday. Both of them rose to the occasion with amazing stage presence. Cakes Da Killa went through his set, cracking jokes with the crowd, and getting down into the audience to get crazy on the floor. Literally. Goldlink came out with equal amounts of energy and performed his set way longer than he was even scheduled to.

My only issue with Hopscotch, was with how Hip Hop was scheduled. All the fire was used on Friday night. Don’t get me wrong, Saturday night was DOPE, but the crowd wasn’t as hype, and not much was done to get it there.  In my opinion, Friday night’s lineup should have been Saturday’s and vice versa. I know that artists’ touring schedules have a lot to do with how they’re scheduled at festivals like this, but a little more attention to detail could have been used to keep the heads ringing to the end of the road.

Music News and Interviews

Giveaways of the Week: July 20th – 26th!

7/23: Quarterbacks @ The Pinhook

7/24: Adult Science @ Kings

7/25: SkyBlew @ Cat’s Cradle

7/25: Gold Coast @ Kings

7/25: Maple Stave @ Local 506

7/26: Foe Destroyer @ Local 506

Tune into WKNC 88.1 FM this week and when the DJ asks for it, call the request lines at 919-515-0881 or 919-515-2400 for your chance to win tickets to these shows! Good luck!