S.K.I.P's head-scratching response

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It's fascinating to me how local vegan rapper S.K.I.P. has seemed to materialize as some kind of agitator/inspirer for the Weekly's music section. Like the Oaks (who S.K.I.P. is playing with Jan. 5 at the Social) earlier this year -- and if you haven't seen the passionate response to columnist Bao Le-Huu's calling bullshit on the Oaks, check it here -- S.K.I.P's heart is always in the right place. I can attest he's a great guy with an open world view who's endured a lot of shit and can still get up there and put on the best show in Orlando on any given night...when he wants to.

Other times, well, his ticks get the best of him, and it leads to some interesting back and forth between him and this paper. When I profiled him earlier this year, his quirky personality (childhood schizophrenia, spiritual visions) outshined the spotlight on his music. This wasn't a mistake -- if the subject draws the interviewer's attention away from the album, it must be there in the piece.

Then last week, our paper ran a Cheap Shot on S.K.I.P, calling him out for fussing with his audio for most of his allotted time on stage. I was there. So was most of the staff at the Weekly. I agreed with the printed opinion, as did we all, that it was a frustrating set that didn't have to go that way. We couldn't tell the difference between right and left audio at that point anyway, and if he had called off all his music and simply rapped by himself, it would've been much more enjoyable, a point driven home by Sage Francis, who followed S.K.I.P. and delivered an amazing set with no music.

Somehow, S.K.I.P. misread our Cheap Shot to imply that we were also calling out Sage Francis. Not true. Wish I could say I agree with him that it's the sound crew's fault (Orlando is notorious for shitty live audio, but it's bad form to put it all on the techies mang), but it was a bad show.

To be fair, however, on Dec. 14, S.K.I.P. put on possibly the best performance I've ever seen from him at the Social with Future Funk Collective backing him. The entire night was mind-blowing, including newcomer Kaleigh Baker and an almost all-singing set by Alexandrah. Well done, all.

But now to business: First our Cheap Shot. Followed by his response. Enjoy!

With a heavy heart, we send a face-smack out to Orlando rapper S.K.I.P. for diva-like behavior at a charity concert. One of our favorite local talents, Nonsense Recordsâ?? S.K.I.P. was supposed to perform at Rock for Hunger, organizer Christopher Goyzuetaâ??s benefit festival at Back Booth, but flummoxed attendees were instead treated to nearly 30 minutes of onstage (and fully miked) sniping between the rapper and the sound booth. â??I canâ??t hear my iPod,â?� he repeated like a mantra. â??Nothingâ??s coming out of the left side,â?� he said again, despite coming through loud and clear to the audience. Admittedly, nothing was coming from his keyboards, but since when does a rap show need keyboards? The embarrassment multiplied when the failed set was followed by a completely a cappella spoken-word performance by Sage Francis that captivated. With zero music to back him, the veteran Rhode Island MC led by example. Hereâ??s hoping S.K.I.P. was paying attention, not still fucking with his iPod.

hey orlandoians,

check out this week's orlando weekly if you get the chance. both sage francis and i get the title of "diva" for our performances at the Rock 4 Hunger 2 Benefit Concert last month. as anyone knows who was there, the sound crew was terrible and each setup time for each band was like 45 minutes on average. so we went up (me and my band) and performed blindly with almost no monitors and a bunch of the equipment not working and because i guess of my big mouth trying to get the ball rolling, i'm a diva... and so is sage because he did a spoken word performance which was actually scheduled to be a special spoken word performance from the very beginning. but i guess that orlando weekly doesn't fact check before they go to print... or they don't care. regardless, i think that the award is awesome because i actually look fantastic with a tiara crown and high heels, so i guess that the jokes on them.

sooo......

on behalf of me, i would like to accept this award from the orlando weekly as "diva." and first i would like to thank God for whom all things are possible. i'd like to thank Chris Gonzuela and all the other amazing people at Rock 4 Hunger for their huge hearts. both soundmen Wayne (the social) and Fedge (backbooth) for working through the subpar sound crew and equipment to make everything work out like they always do. yall are fantastic and deserve a REAL award yourselves for all of the positive things that you do for the people around you. thank you.

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