Do you and work hard,” says a laid back Skeme over lunch at a health food café in an affluent area of Los Angeles. “That’s the best advice I got from my big bro about the business and that’s what I do.” Speaking with a confidence and maturity well beyond his twenty-one years on earth, it’s not hard to see why so many people believe in and supports Skeme as an artist.
If genes have anything to do with Lonnie Kimble becoming the rapper now known as Skeme, you’d know music has always been a part of his life. Raised by his grandparents in Inglewood, CA the young rapper was exposed to Rhythm & Blues at an early age. Skeme recalls listening to many blues singers like Johnnie Taylor and his grandfather’s best friend Bobby “Blue” Bland. “My Great-Uncle is Howlin’ Wolf, that was like, a trip,” he says with an excited grin. When Skeme was nine he went to a family reunion in Detroit. During a visit to the Hard Rock Museum he heard the story of his Great-Uncle from his grandmother, who he affectionately calls “Mom”. With an absent father and no knowledge of his biological mother, Skeme turned to the streets for lessons on how to become a man. Though his youth led him to the streets to make ends meet, he always knew that music would be the key to expanding his world. At seventeen, after a challenge from his Grandfather to write a rhyme, Skeme began taking his passion for music seriously. Skeme attended Los Angeles Recording School where he took engineering classes while trying to use the schools facilities to record one of his many mixtapes. After completing four months of the nine-month program, Skeme decided to leave the school and commit to his music full-time. “I’m in school twelve hours out the day and I can’t really record like I want to, so I left and started recording anywhere and everywhere I could” he says detailing his process. A relentless drive to work and record led to some of Skeme’s best work. Skeme of Things 2, All-Rapped Up, Pistols & Palm Trees, The Statement and his latest release Before My Next Statement started a snowball effect that pushed Skeme’s name into conversations of being one of LA’s best. There are plenty of things for Skeme to look forward to in his near future, but for now his focus is on spending as much time as possible in the studio and connecting with his fans. Skeme knows that there is no substitute for the grind. While promoting Before My Next Statement he’s also working on his next project. Like his previous works, His next project is a true reflection of Skeme. Loving the freedom his music provides, Skeme says “The biggest inspiration is music.” His songs are filled with the truths and stories of his environment, real life without the gimicks. “It’s about doing you,” he says while cracking a joke with his manager. “I want people to get me!”