Stokeley Clevon Goulbourne is a South Florida rapper with a mouthful of a moniker: Ski Mask The Slump God. However, that can provide good preparation for Ski Mask’s delivery, which is crammed with syllables over idiosyncratic but not unattractive beats. With track lengths that seldom breach the 3-minute mark, it’d be easy to declare it Rap for those with short attention spans, but Ski Mask throws so much presence into his songs that it rewards focus.
On Saturday, Nov. 23, Cincinnati-area fans will get to see how well Ski Mask’s recorded energy translates into live energy. He’s bringing to Bogart's his Stokeley Tour, a reference both to his government name and to his eponymous-ish debut album that was released in November of last year. The 2018 XXL Freshman Class member should bring a strong mix of tracks from releases like Stokeley and his Beware the Book of Eli and YouWillRegret mixtapes. A recently dropped single, “Carbonated Water,” indicates that a new project could be dropped in the next few months.
Breaking out in 2017 with the single “Catch Me Outside,” Ski Mask has shown strong evolution in his croaky but nimble delivery of lyrics that are crass, hilarious or both. However, he’s also been revealing himself as someone with a distinct lens. Stokeley dealt partially with the loss of his friend and collaborator XXXTentaction through music. “I been lost for days, stuck in my brain,” he confesses on one track.
He also has evolved in terms of vocal abilities, bringing some solid singing into his skillset along with rapping that sounds ready to tear/bite some heads off. Speaking with Complex, he explained that his friend’s passing helped influence him to make the leap from “rapper” to “artist.”
“He just told me that I had to step up a lot, even just in music in general, because I knew I could do it,” Ski Mask said.
If he continues to “step up,” Ski Mask The Slump God might need to shorten/change his name — he’s not showing any signs of decline.