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Wednesday, April 25, 2012


So many raw cats came made their way through the boom bap field during the '90s, releasing a 12" or two that's today considered underground classics, only to never be heard from again. AK Skills is a perfect example of the scenario pictured above. Hailing from Far Rockaway, Queens, he started making a buzz on the underground mixtape circuit with the release of the booming 12" single, "Check The Flava" B/W "Nights Of Fear" in 1996. The songs were produced by Lord Finesse and Buckwild, respectively, and featured some nice cuts by label mate (on Tru Criminal Records) and Street Smartz's DJ K.O. The single created enough attention to allow for a second release the same year, resulting in the equally knocking "One Life to Live" B/W "East Ta West". The B-side was once again impressively laced by Buckwild, while production duties for "One Life to Live" was handled by a Eddie James. 

With these four songs, AK Skills' rugged Queens style, great beat selections and connections should have led right to a smashing debut LP. Very unfortunately for both  the man himself and hip-hop heads, that never materialized as it seems AK Skills found himself´incarcerated for a longer bid during this time. One more track managed to reach the surface however, another winning Buckwild collaboration titled "One Thing Or Another", when it was included on a promotional Tru Criminal Records compilation in '97. How much material AK recorded, whether or not an actual album was planned and if we'll ever get to hear a return to the booth are all questions that may very well never be answered. But the five songs released between 1996 and 1997 speaks for themeselves (as well as the rare freestyles) and is a must hear for any hardcore hip-hop loving fanatic. The singles are of course out-of-print by now but if you'll ever come across one of them while doing your digging, PICK IT UP, PICK IT UP, PICK IT UP (as KRS would've said)! Me and Ant, who also put in a lot of much appreciated work on the incredible Truck Turner compilation, thought it would be great to put all those songs together for a digital Lost Tapes EP so here you go peeps!

01. "Check The Flava"
02. "Nights Of Fear"
03. "East Ta West"
04. "One Life Ta Live"
05. "One Thing Or Another"



  1. Oh how i love this blog! Thank You sooooo much!


  2. Dope, always loved AK and C7 please don't take this the wrong way, but sometimes your blog is too much all at once fam, less is more is basically all I am saying, sometimes I just skip posts because there are 5-6 all at once.

  3. glad you're feeling this guys, i personally love it too. AK Skills was amazing, shame he didn't release more material but it is what it is.

    Jaz, no problem my man, i'm always up for some constructive criticism so it's all good. i must admit that i really don't quite understand what is you really mean. from my perspective (and if i understand you correctly), the only posts i make where i throw more than one or two unreleated songs together is when i do a Video Double Feature highlighting two new recently released videos. otherwise i work hard to never stray too much away from the original concept of each post. but i trust your judgement and i'm always up to make the blog even better, so if you could give me some concrete examples or try to explain a little better what it is you mean that would be much appreciated. peace

  4. bro, a lot of the links from the compilations are dead, some black thought, dilla, preem, & others dope, can you re-up please ??, salutes from chile, rhh4life

  5. We we reap this one pls. Much appreciated