Out of all of the Soundcloud rappers to emerge in the last two years, perhaps none have appeared to have the promise and acclaim as Ski Mask the Slump God. His insane flows and diverse style along with his connections to XXXtentacion caused him to grow a large fanbase in 2017.
Unfortunately for me as a fan of his since his first more mainstream mixtape You Will Regret, Ski has for the most part disappeared since 2017. His last mixtape Beware the Book of Eli was rolled out extremely poorly and was mired in controversy due to relationship issues between him and management. When it was finally released, the only songs I could come back to and enjoy were “DoIHaveTheSause?” and “COOLEST MONKEY IN THE JUNGLE”. It felt like Ski had lost his touch and his motivation to make the same quality of music.
Despite all of this, I was very excited to hear he was releasing his first studio album Stokeley in early November. I knew Ski had the talent to make something special that would stand out from the rest of his Soundcloud counterparts, but just needed the motivation and the freedom to do something he wanted to make.
Stokeley has some of the best songs Ski Mask the Slump God has ever released, utilizing all of his strengths to create something that is entertaining, wild, and crazy fun. Some of my favorite songs like “Nuketown” featuring Juice WRLD and “LA LA” are very reminiscent of his songs with XXXtentacion such as “Rip Roach” and “H2O” with the crazy screaming and heavy bass whipping you into a frenzy. The emotional and violent hook on “Nuketown” is some of the best gym hype song material in a long while. Juice WRLD somehow went even harder and more violent than Ski himself, making it by far my favorite feature on the album.
The variety of sounds and production on the album also make it appealing for many different audiences, one of the album’s strong suits. While his high energy, moshing songs like “Nuketown” are great, funky sounds like on “Reborn to Rebel” and “Faucet Failure” are where his flows and funny lyrics really shine. With the twangy melody on “Reborn to Rebel”, Ski creates probably his most unique song to date. Lastly, his more relaxed, melodic songs like “Save Me Part 2” are a good change of pace to break the album up.
It wouldn’t be a Ski song without excellent flow, and here is where Stokeley becomes more of a mixed bag for me. Most songs he does exceptionally well, with “Faucet Failure” being my favorite song on the album because of his awesome flow and funny lyrics. A couple listens and the lyrics “Who's this? He should be in cockpit, uh. 'Cause I'm flyer than a f*****' ostrich, uh,” will be stuck in your head.
Unfortunately, his flow and lyrics seem uninspired on a few songs like “U and I” and “Get Geeked”. Whether it’s because of the lazy beats on these tracks or Ski just repeating the same line about 40 times in a track less than two minutes, it really brought me out of the vibe that he was creating in the album.
It’s because of these tracks that I wouldn’t recommend listening to this in one listen like the last album I reviewed, FM! By Vince Staples. Many of these songs by Ski are really amazing in their own right, but together have little additional value. If you want to listen to bangers or funky songs to get hype to with friends, this is a great part of Ski Mask the Slump God’s discography. However, if you are looking for an album better overall than You Will Regret, you might regret getting your hopes up.