June 17, 2016

Skimask Troopaz - Underground Tape (1996)


Skimask Troopaz is a subgroup of Skinny Pimp's Gimisum Family. These North Memphis OG's nail extreme gangsta raps, all having to do with murder, torture, and not taking any shit. I visited Discogs to see that Big Hill produced the tape, likely with uncredited help from Playa Dre and the rest of the group. I wouldn't doubt the possibility that Skinny Pimp made a few of these beats as well, and whether he did or didn't, his influence is heavily felt on both the raps and beats. I guess there is a minimal historical connection between Gimisum and the Triple 6 Mafia, and both use similar production techniques (the way vocal samples are chopped and harsh background noises are added, for instance). Still, these two groups sound entirely different; where Three 6's releases were built on riding out through an often ethereal atmosphere and heavy bass, Skimask is more aggressive and presses lean and unrefined funk through your gut. I think Skimask Troopaz' underground tape is the quintessential Gimisum release, but it might even be the most representative underground tape from all of Memphis hip hop. If you enjoyed Three 6 Mafia's early albums and are looking to get deeper into Memphis rap, let Skimask Troopaz introduce you to the more intense side of the genre.

Sample

Underground Tape