SK33T (AKA Christopher Kelly), is a Richmond, VA-based rapper. Following the hype of his first mixtape ‘Capital Murder’, released in 2021, he has quickly followed up with his second mixtape. Texaco Dreaming Block Burna Edition comes out steaming out of the oven. Boasting 17 tracks and a run time of nearly 51 minutes, it has a lot of spacy synth samples, horn samples and ratchety ad-libs which have become a staple of the ‘dirty south’ genre. Moreover, he collaborates with principal producer DJ VONN, who features alongside him on the cover. Together they arrive at a distinct sound that you may recognise in other artists. T.I., Rick Ross, and Chris Brown come to mind.
Texaco Dreaming contains many freestyles and a few skits. SK33T speaks his mind on a variety of hard-hitting topics. A lot of them involve the pursuit of greatness while being surrounded by incarceration and violence in the city of Richmond. The first single off of the mixtape ‘Errbody’ is a perfect example. In the hook of this pumping track, SK33T describes how ‘everybody wants to be a gangster. He comments upon the way in which gang culture has been romanticised by the masses. In reality, however, it is much more intense and dangerous than throwing up hand signs and wiling out. Similarly, in ‘Sack Life’, he talks about ‘dodging indictments and ducking feds’. Thus, describing living a life on the edge. Which involves intense pressure to get ahead.
Richmond as a city has a central focus in the mixtape. Many of the lyrics in Texaco Dreaming reference the struggles of the city. Being an artist and a businessperson within the complex dynamics of urban sprawl can be quite difficult to survive. SK33T, however, is very hopeful about its potential. Additionally, he identifies within the city, and himself, the spirit of the underdog. He himself describes the city of Richmond as ‘the next Memphis’. Emphasizing the rich pool of talent that the city contains, Texaco Dreaming is part of his own efforts to bring these things into the limelight.
On ‘Fa Da Money’, for example, which features Richmond rapper Biggie Tom, SK33T describes the volatile nature of the city. The focus is on money and how people often even lose their lives chasing money. Far from moralizing, however, employs the themes on Texaco Dreaming to paint a broader picture of his own life in the city. Chains on chains, promiscuity, drug culture, and the impulse to succeed despite all odds.
Texaco Dreaming, while being a strong contender in the southern hip-hop genre, is also at times quite musically eclectic. Much of this can be credited to the contributions of DJ VONN. He carefully samples soul and 80’s records on tracks like ‘Blue Bel Air Freestyle’ and ‘Dynasty Freestyle’. The instrumentals on these records contrast tastefully against SK33T’s strong vocal style and lyrical flow. Moreover, the songs all run at a mid-tempo pace. This makes it the perfect mixtape to turn up in the car with the homies.
Be sure to streamTexaco Dreaming Block Burna Edition by SK33T today!