One of hip hop’s most promising up and coming young talents, New York’s Skizzy Mars has perfected a sound that nods to classic rap while retaining modern sensibilities, perfected this year on his latest and best LP to date, sophomore effort Free Skizzy Mars. A dynamic and engaging live performer, to get the best experience, you’ll want to see the talented MC in person, and you can do just that when he returns to Nashville tonight, Nov. 20 to headline Exit/In, with eclectic support from electro-infused alt/indie artist Yoshi Flower and up and coming hip hop and r&b artist Zaia! An especially cool fall outing, you can still get tickets right here while they last, then read on for more about the show!
Skizzy Mars (born Myles Mills) is an MC based in Manhattan who specializes in jocular, melodic, slightly left-of-center rap. Born and raised in Harlem, he got into modern rock bands, later immersed himself in the output of rappers like Kid Cudi and Kanye West, and traced back to A Tribe Called Quest. While still a teenager, he uploaded “Douchebag,” a track that caught some attention and prompted him to expose more material that attracted a publishing deal. A couple mixtapes, Phases and Pace, followed in 2013 and 2014, respectively. The Red Balloon Project, a seven-track EP supported by major distribution from WEA, was released in February 2015 and debuted at number 35 on the Billboard 200 chart. Alone Together, Skizzy’s proper debut album, followed in April 2016 with appearances from JoJo and Rome Fortune, among others. It landed at number 50 on the Billboard 200. That same year, he appeared with Jasmine Thompson on Vice’s “Steady 1234” single, later collaborating with Take a Daytrip on 2017’s “She Knows.” The following year, Skizzy issued the vulnerable are you OK? EP, which featured the singles “American Dream” and “2006.” Months later, he teamed with Prelow for the collaborative set I Can’t Take Me Anywhere. Earlier this year, he released the full-length Free Skizzy Mars, which featured guests 24kGoldn, Yoshi Flower, and Trevor Daniel, helping cementing Skizzy Mars as one of the most buzzworthy rising young talents in hip hop, and an artist you’ll definitely want to witness in person on his ascent!
A mysterious artist we first encountered a couple years ago at Bonnaroo- his apparent debut performance- after some serious digging, we pieced together that Yoshi Flower is Josh Smith, formerly of Detroit indie pop duo Gosh Pith’s new solo outlet (which is either a renaming or replacement for his short-lived stint as simply “Joshua”). Combining his interests in electronic dance music, hip hop, and indie rock, Yoshi Flower made his formal debut in early 2018 with “Movies,” an electropop love song that imagines his love interest as the star of his film. The same week, Los Angeles’ Elohim released the song “Panic Attacks” featuring Yoshi Flower; the latter kicked off a string of dates in support of Elohim’s North American tour. Before the end of the month, Smith released his followup solo single, “Just on Drugs.” Another single, “Woke,” and the maxi-single “Brown Paper Bag” both led up to the October release of his debut mixtape, American Raver. Striking a deal with Interscope, Smith made his label debut in early 2019 with “In the Morning” and “Dirty Water,” followed in May of that year by “Validation.”
Hailing from Atlanta, young up and comer Zaia sits somewhere between artists like Kid Cudi and Childish Gambino with his style, multi-genred sound, and youthful but commanding energy, pulling elements like electric guitar, ’80s synths, ’70s soul tones, and R&B beats into his trendy, modern, and lush style. Though he’s only been making music in the public eye for a couple of years, Zaia is already building up a celebrated and excellent catalogue, with last year’s Drive EP and more recent effort Reset, in addition to numerous buzzy singles, making his a must-know, multi-faceted artist.
Skizzy Mars, Yoshi Flower, and Zaia will perform tonight, Nov. 20 at Exit/In. The show is 18+, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $25.