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Skrewtape @ Voltage Lounge Tonight.

October 3, 2014

Reji B. Photography Voss record release 2014Text by Chesney Davis. Images courtesy of Skrewtape.

With a gritty, bass-heavy sound, Skrewtape, a rapper from South Jersey, has been making a name for himself in the underground scene in Philly and surrounding area.

The 29-year-old only began carving out a career for himself for the last few of years but the success has been relatively swift.

His first LP, Skumbag Millionaires, dropped last year with his undoubtedly East Coast sound, reminiscent of great mid-90s’ hip-hop.

The 22-track album is packed with guest appearances by many of hip-hop’s seasoned artists, including El Da Sensei and Miilkbone, plus local heavies like Voss, Reef the Lost Cauze and producer and beat maker Mr. Green.

It seems like Skrewtape knows everyone and his connection with these notable artists is no coincidence. Skrewtape says he works hard to build relationships with others, not only in an attempt to propel himself forward, but also in an honest spirit of support for those who came before him as well as his contemporaries.

He is constantly showing up on fellow artists’ tracks and even directs and produces music videos.

Like he says on his song “Fuck Your Feelings,” featuring Voss, he doesn’t want to be “emcee everybody.” He wants a sound and brand of his own.

“Working with different people is the best way to develop yourself,” he explains. “If you’re real with people and you just [have] face time and real exchange, it will take you so much farther than a freakin’ Facebook promo link, like, ‘here, check my music.’”

His immersion into the scene has helped him handle his own bookings, music and video production and promotion independently. And he’s always working on something.

Though he says he’s always known he was a decent lyricist, he knew he had to step his live show up after seeing the shows of artists he admires. Especially because, he insists, performing live is his most effective method of promotion.

“That’s the biggest factor in getting new people to really fuck with my music and support is when they see you live,” he says. “When they see you live they connect with you, they really get the all. It doesn’t translate in the studio sometimes. I try to do that but it’s not the same.”

And he says he loves the toughness of the local live scene, because it pushes him to work the crowd.

“An artist lives in two kinds of worlds. You do it for yourself, you know, you have your craft and you perfect it,” he reasons. “So you are living up to your own standards and tastes and what you think the art should be and then you have to have the side of ‘Well, I also like to connect with people and I want what I create to be what they want and what they are enjoying and entertained by.’”

This is why Skrewtape says he is excited about his new project. The progress is evident and the music was made to connect with his audience.

No Filter is the name of his new LP with production duo US Natives. It drops today and features Malik B. of The Roots, DJ Too Tuff of the Tuff Crew, Slaughter Rico and Slim DSM.

The release party is the same day at Voltage Lounge. Performances include Malik B, Slaughter Rico, J.O. The Last Man, Ghetto MC, 30 And Over League and Vas.

To pre-order “No Filter,” visit Tickets to the release show can be found on Ticketfly.

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