As a white guy who started listening to hip hop about three years ago, I can safely say that I’ve never felt like the most legit person at a hip hop show. There have even been a few shows where I’ve felt like I probably shouldn’t be there. But if there’s anywhere on the planet where I can pretty safely flex my hip hop knowledge, it’s in Beijing.

When I saw that Skyzoo was coming to Beijing on my birthday, my first reaction was confusion as to why, and my second was to tell everybody I knew how much we needed to go. The (presumably predictable) response was that nobody had ever heard of Skyzoo. Call me an elitist, but it’s easy to forget that Nahright isn’t on most peoples’ bookmarks. Considering that in my personal experience most Chinese people respond to rapping by clapping their hands, I figured that I was probably going to enjoy this concert more than just about anyone else there.

I mostly know about Skyzoo from the fact that he’s collaborated with J Dilla and 9th Wonder, so I’m not exactly familiar with his rhymes. This wasn’t a huge problem, since Skyzoo didn’t spend much time rhyming. The whole show was only about 45 minutes long, which, even by hip hop standards, was short. On the other hand, this was a hip hop show at a dance club in Beijing, so the crowd wasn’t exactly looking for a solid two-hour set of rhymes, so I’ll be forgiving. However, I don’t think Sky spat more than six or eight verses total; instead, he spent most of his time shouting out to 9th Wonder and J Dilla, which I think only I appreciated. Still, it was cool to hear a DJ throw down a bunch of cuts from Ruff Draft and have people get that wild (appropriate, since he played “Wild”).

The funniest moment, though (other than Sky’s repeated declarations that “Beijing is the livest city,” which is probably true only in terms of sheer volume of people), was when he asked who was a fan of Pete Rock, and the entire crowd was literally silent except for me. My favorite moment was on the last song when Sky spat a line about James Yancey and I shouted out “J Dilla,” at which point his eyes went completely wide and he reached down and gave me a handshake. In other words, for the first time in my life, I was the most legit person at a hip hop show, and the MC recognized it. It felt sweet.

In terms of the show, Skyzoo’s hip hop credentials are clearly impeccable, and his stage presence was impressive, but it was a little disappointing to have such a short show. On the bright side, they gave everyone a pair of Kanye’s blinds glasses, which made up the difference for not getting our money’s worth of hip hop. His DJ, who was clearly pretty drunk, was having a great time, too, so that was entertaining. Overall, a piece of the hip hop universe in Beijing was very welcome, and Skyzoo gave the crowd exactly what they wanted. Unfortunately, what the crowd wanted was not a bunch of hot rhymes over classic Dilla beats. That was only me.

Pictures and a video (with terrible sound quality but decent image, since I was in the front row) of what Sky claimed was a never-before-heard Pete Rock collaboration:

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