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January 26, 2019 / Posted by:

Skee-Lo!

Nowadays (and yes, you should read that in a raspy pepaw voice and picture me saying it while sitting on a porch and pulling out a grey nose hair with one hand and shaking a fist at brats blasting Post Malone from a Bluetooth speaker with the other) LV airpod-clad rappers want you to know that they bought their custom gold Maserati with stacks of cash pulled out of their monogrammed Goyard suitcase held by their model-looking lady bodyguards in Prada uniforms. But back in 1995, rapper Skee-Lo, whose name makes him sound like Cee-Lo’s Skee-Ball champion brother, kept it real and rapped about how his broke ass drives around in a busted yellow hatchback with zero girlfriend in the passenger seat while dreaming of a four six Impala, a hot girlfriend, and an NBA contract. And Skee-Lo meant an Impala as in the car, not an impala that is six feet and four inches. But honestly, riding an 6’4″ impala would be more badass.

Skee-Lo’s first album I Wish came out in 1995, and it was a hit and got him two Grammy nominations. It reached #53 on the album charts, and his single I Wish reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. Wikipedia says that Skee-Lo retired from rap just five months after his album came out, because his record label, the now dead Sunshine Records, took all the shine and money, and he didn’t get one penny. So he refused to do promo for the album. He sued his label, and five years later, he won the publishing rights for I Wish.

Skee-Lo (born name: Antoine Roundtree) was an MTV VJ for a minute before returning to music and putting out an album in 2000 and another one in 2012. Skee-Lo is now married with kids and runs a music distribution business. There’s a Medium piece about Skee-Lo, and it includes a quote he gave about how I Wish was written when he was down and out.

And even if “I Wish” is the one moment from Skee-Lo’s career that most people truly remember, that’s OK. Though many people think of the song as a simple feel-good, summertime BBQ essential, it actually has a much deeper meaning for the man who wrote it. “The song means a lot to me yo,” Skee-Lo told Sway. “I wrote ‘I Wish’ because, at a time in my life when I felt most down, it was something that made me happy.”

Here’s the video for I Wish, which has a touch of Forrest Gump in it. Skee-Lo playing Forrest Gump may or may not have been his idea of social commentary.

And I really hope that Skee-Lo did get that four six Impala, and yes I’m talking about a 6’4″ impala.

Pic: Sony

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