When you see Spike Lee these days, he’s usually courtside at Madison Square Garden watching his beloved New York Knicks hold court. But besides being the Knicks biggest cheerleader to date, Spike Lee is an accomplished director with an impressive “jointography” including Malcolm X, Crooklyn, Jungle Fever and the classic Do the Right Thing. While carving his niche in Hollywood and sharing his visions of Brooklyn, Spike Lee has become a respected member of the hip hop community.
This is not lost on fellow Brooklynite and hip hop artist, Skyzoo, who drops the video accompaniment to his tribute track, “Spike Lee Was My Hero,” off his 2012 LP A Dream Deferred, currently available on Duck Down Records. Directed by Alex Ghassan, the video is chock full of movie stills, memorabilia and even a guest appearance by Lee himself who seems humbled by Skyzoo’s homage to the filmmaker.
Skyzoo’s references to characters in Lee’s films may be lost on some who haven’t see these movies, particularly the controversial Bamboozled which had a limited release, but the track and video serves its purpose as an intelligent song honoring a celebrated director whose films have had a tremendous influence on Skyzoo’s life and career. The gifted Talib Kweli also appears in the video delivering a strong verse and name dropping my favorite high school, Brooklyn Tech.
Having been on the Birthplace Magazine radar since the website’s inception, we’ve always like Skyzoo’s consistency and dedication to the craft of hip hop music. “Spike Lee Was My Hero” is not a party track, nor is it a jeep thumper, but it is a strong example of an artist taking time out to make a song giving credit and respect to those that inspired him, including his father and the aforementioned Mr. Spike Lee.
Check it out.