After making their indelible marks on the game luminaries KRS-One and Buckshot, arguably two of the games most prolific emcees, will link up to give fans a collaborative album entitled SURVIVAL SKILLS.
With guests ranging from Mary J. Blige, Slug Of Atmosphere, K'NAAN, Talib Kweli, Immortal Technique, Melanie Fiona, Naledge of Kidz In The Hall, Sean Price, Geo of Blue Scholars, Pharoahe Monch, Bounty Killer, Smif N Wessun and Rock of Heltah Skeltah, "Survival Skills" represents a diverse range of topics, all while maintaining a consistent sound. The album has production from Havoc of Mobb Deep, 9th Wonder, Black Milk, ILL MIND, Coptic, Moss, Nottz, Marco Polo, and KHRYSIS!
On the surface the album is a testament to the resiliency of two lyrical titans, but at its root SURVIVAL SKILLS is a blueprint for life. For instance on the infectious head-nodder "Robot," which was released 6 weeks prior to Jay Z's "The Death Of Auto Tune" track, and already available World Wide at Digital Retail Shops, such as iTunes, the duo speak-out against the recent overuse of the Auto-Tune vocal effect in urban music, but under the surface the message is much deeper. "I don't want people to get the averaged clichéd version and thinking that we're dissing people,'" Buckshot clarifies. "What we're calling out here is the biters, the people that feel like because this guy sold X amount of records doing this, that I'm going to turn around and do it as well," KRS says of the array of artists who have followed in the creative footsteps of Roger Troutman, Afrikka Bambatta, Teddy Riley and T-Pain. Despite its heavy message, sonically the track, produced by Mobb Deep's Havoc, is as inviting as anything on the radio today. The video for "ROBOT," directed by Todd Angkaswan, has been added into rotation at MTV & BET. The track has also been included in the sound track for Activision's upcoming Tony Hawk skate game in stores this Fall.
Still gritty tracks like "Clean Up," featuring Rock of Heltah Skeltah and the politically minded "Running Away" featuring Immortal Technique, make Survival Skills a Hip-Hop fan's dream, catering to those that love lyrics and the boom-bap. Equally as rich is the album's Black Milk-produced track, "The Way I Live" featuring the Queen of hip-hop soul, Mary J. Blige. Together they create a triumphant anthem for all those on the grind trying to conquer their dreams. The song's summery feel and soothing melodies make it an instant hit.