New Music: Skillz – ‘2016 Rap Up’

In what has become a longstanding hip-hop tradition, Skillz has unleashed his annual “Rap Up” freestyle, recapping 2016’s biggest moments. Over production inspired by Audio Two’s classic “Top Billin’,” the Virginia rapper breaks down the year’s triumphs and blunders.

“Warriors went on a streak and then they got served,” he raps. “‘Panda’ was a hit but we couldn’t understand the words / And Khaled kept snappin’ / These young’ns keep mumblin’ / I guess y’all call that rappin’.”

Of course, he also rhymes about success, specifically detailing Queen Bey’s successful year. “The world stopped when Beyoncé dropped LEMONADE,” he raps. “She slayed and overshared / And y’all still trying to find out ’bout Becky with the good hair / As far as question, I got one / Hey Hov and Bey, is y’all finished or is y’all done?”

He also brings up Lil Wayne and Birdman’s ongoing Cash Money dispute. “Birdman ran up on Charlamagne,” he raps. “And Lil Wayne’s still not puttin’ respek on his name.”

This year’s recap also takes a political turn as Skillz addresses President-elect Donald Trump’s surprising win. “Pardon me as I vent,” he raps. “Dog, we made a reality star the president / And that makes me sick / Talkin’ ’bout I gotta give him a chance, nah, I ain’t gotta give him shit / It’s gon’ be hard to cope / You can’t have progress if you don’t have hope.”

But Skillz still manages to end things on a positive note after acknowledging this year’s tragedies. “Way too many people got called back home,” he raps. “2016, you can go and I’m glad you gone / Felt like a long, bad dream / I’m wishing y’all love and life, welcome to 2017.”