Jae Skeese is a Buffalo rapper who was really born for this shit. In the game since a very young age and originally in groups such as Bucks, he has been grinding for a minute without much love. Now that he is signed to Conway the Machine’s Drumwork label however, his potential and growth are clear. Killing features lately (notably on God Don’t Make Mistakes), this new EP is surprisingly fulfilling for what might really be just an appetizer.
From the jump, you can tell Iroquois Pliskin isn’t just another New York coke rap album. With an album cover and title paying homage to the classic, campy video game series Metal Gear Solid, Skeese pulls off a fun concept. What could’ve felt corny or half assed ended up actually exuding a lot of charisma, as he incorporates dialogue samples from the games which actually relate to each song’s themes and make for a really fleshed out project. The record opens with the stellar “71 Custer”; Over an epic, soulful beat, Jae gets really deep. He speaks on the loss of a brother, grinding in rap, and how he might inspire others who have it rough. Jae is great with the references and often raps about more personal stuff than a lot of artists in the scene.
Jae Skeese – 71 Custer
“Against tha Grain” has dreamier production and obligatory features from Flee Lord and Conway. Jae’s hook here is a standout; It’s not only clever and catchy, but actually standout from the verses and shows great versatility. “Ekin 2” is one of the project’s greatest highlights. Jae flows right on time here with some infectious energy, and the beat builds beautifully (sharing a sample with Isaiah Rashad’s “Cilvia Demo”).
Next is “Sometimes/Faith”, another track where Jae brings it with a commanding flow and really spits, rhyming every bar with the word “times” and speaking on his anxieties in music and life on the street. Stove God Cook$ obviously kills his verse, with the subtle harmonies matching the upbeat jazz so nicely. “Naked Truth” is a slower cut where Jae drops some serious wisdom and El Camino brings a signature melody. Finally there’s “Tumbled Leather”, with a hook by Kota Savia and a nice relationship story.
Jae Skeese has only gotten better and better as he receives more shine. Iroquois Pliskin seems to prove that he’s more than a fluke and has real artistic vision and talent on the mic. He’s certainly a name to watch for this year.