ALBUM REVIEW: Ski Beats – 24 Hour Karate School


Ski Beats is easily one of my fav producers. This cat had the mid 90’s on lock. His work on Jay Z’s greatest output “Reasonable Doubt” was one of the few times in hip hop history that I preferred another producer’s track over my all time favorite producer DJ Premier. Not to mention he gave one of hip hop’s most unique groups Camp Lo a damn near classic with “Uptown Saturday Night” and not to mention “Luchini aka This Is It” is one of best beats…ever! And all the while still lacing Bahamadia, Lil Kim and Fat Joe (with one of my fav posse cuts “John Blaze”).

But around the time 2000 was rolling around Ski virtually disappeared from the entire hip hop scene. He would pop up from time to time with some jawns for Camp Lo or a track for Jay Z (Ski produced Jay’s “People Talk”) but for the most part, Ski’s been MIA for the past 8 years.

But in 2010 with the help of Dame Dash, Ski is back like he’s avenging his brother’s death. With Dame’s Tribeca loft DD172 (which houses everything from an art gallery to a studio “the Dojo”) as the headquarters for all those who oppose “wack world” Ski’s got the creative control to record at will and with everyone from Mos Def to the Black Keys coming through it was only a matter of time til we got to hear some of the goodies Ski and his crew were cooking up which brings up the release “24 Karate School”.

Originally this was suppose to be released back in March 2010 but due to sampling clearance it got pushed back til September. And the big question is, was it worth the wait? Well, the first thing you’ll notice is the absence of the might Mos Def which means 3 of the strongest songs heads were looking forward to (“Taxi”, “24 Karate School” and “Cream of the Planet”) aren’t on the official release which normally would mean a sinking ship but even though those jawns would’ve made the project stronger, you still get a dope project from Ski and company.

With “24 Hour…” you’re blessed with some big names like Jean Grae, Jay Electronica & Joell Ortiz (“Prowler”), Jim Jones (“Go”) and Camp Lo (“Back Uptown”) but you’re also introduced to some new dope talent like Stalley (“S.T.A.L.L.E.Y.”) and “Rugz D Bueler (“Super Duper Bad”). And in between you’ve got the 2010 blunt brothers Curren$y and Wiz Khalifa (“Nothing But Us” and “Scaling the Building”) and DC’s own Tabi Bonney (“Not Like Me” and “I Got Mines” with Ras Kas & Nikki Wray). At the end of the day “24 Hour Karate School” was mos definitely worth the wait and with the wonderful invention of this ‘lil thing called the internet, I’m sure we’ll all be adding those Mos Def tracks to our own version of “24 Hour…” to help make it one of the stronger releases of 2010. While everyone else is excited that Hovi’s home…I’m more excited that Ski’s home.