Personally, I find Brooklyn, New York’s Skyzoo to be one of the most interesting artists in hip hop today. I share a great deal in common with the 34-year old emcee – who frequently describes himself as a writer – with mutual interests ranging from David Simon’s iconic The Wire television series, Spike Lee joints (and movies in general), jazz music, ball caps,  sports and words.

I first reached out to Sky to invite him onto Pay Me No Mind back in January. Unfortunately, my timing couldn’t be any worse, as it was just 7-10 days before he was scheduled to leave the States to embark on a two-month European tour with prolific Detroit producer Apollo Brown to support their 2016 joint project The Easy Truth.

I always held onto to the fact that Skyzoo did agree to the interview.

Earlier this week Mobb Deep fans sadly learned that Prodigy, né Albert Johnson, passed away in Las Vegas, Nevada while out on the road as part of the line up for the “Art of Rap” tour. Cause of death details are still scarce, but IMD fans are well aware of Johnson’s lifelong battle with sickle cell anemia, and the widespread belief is that the current extreme heat in Sin City might’ve triggered some health complications the 42-year old H.N.I.C. rapper succumbed to June 20.

In order to put together an acceptable tribute show to the fallen veteran Queens MC, there was no time for “cowardly hearts and straight up shook ones.” How could PMNM “Keep It Thoro” enough to salute P for his many memorable contributions to the Golden Era of rap music, you might ask? I followed up on that commitment from January and amazingly got in some words with Skyzoo (the Writer) to assist with properly honoring the late dun.

Skyzoo also weighed in (starting @ 1:28:20) on his beloved New York Knicks, the ever-evolving state of the culture, his upcoming projects on and off the mic, his thoughts on Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN and more. Keep an eye out for Sky’s upcoming 8-track EP Peddler’s Theme in late-July, as well as the former Notorious B.I.G. neighbor’s acting debut a month later in August.

Boxing is always a major staple of each PMNM episode’s line-up, so also press play and listen to the self-proclaimed “Valedictorian” of the 154-lb weight class, Justin “The Chosen One” DeLoach (17-1, 9 KOs) – the current USBA super welterweight champion. Jip speaks candidly (starting @ 1:05:39) on Andre Ward’s recent 8th RD stoppage of Sergey Kovalev, the merit of the Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor mega-event, and all of the big names at super welterweight – he’s eyeing the Jarrett “Swift” HurdAustin “No Doubt” Trout fight closely.

The Augusta, Georgia native has clearly outgrown his USBA belt he won back in February, so asked the once beaten contender for his major attributes that distinguish himself from Julian Williams and Erickson Lubin, or the the titleholders at super welterweight Demetrius Andrade, Erislandy Lara, Jermell Charlo and the aforementioned Hurd. I thought his major strength could be his athleticism, but DeLoach gave an answer even more simpler than that.

This episode’s other guests include NBA writer Colby Giacubeno (@ColbyGHoops) breaking down (starting @ 25:42) a strong starting 5 worth of NBA topics. Giacubeno covers the Association but also writes extensively about hoops around the DMV, the area where this week’s No. 1 overall draft pick Markelle Fultz developed his game, and he points out an interesting compliment about Fultz’s make-up. You might be like me, I rarely heard the kid’s name last season as he lead the 9-win Huskies through a lackluster season on the hardwood.

Last but certainly not least, Tha Boxing Voice contributor Adam Sperber (@AdamTBV) joins the show (@ 47:49) to recap this week’s Adrien Broner versus Mikey Garcia presser held in NYC. Sperber got in some questions with the outspoken AB at the presser, and he provides some reasons why a focused Broner is likely to be a problem for the highly skilled Californian lightweight I liken to the “coach’s son of boxing.”

During the Broner-Garcia presser, Sperber seized the opportunity to speak to SHOWTIME’s VP of Sports Programming, Stephen Espinoza, so he also teases some marquee match ups that will likely close out boxing’s phenomenal 2017. The network doesn’t sound like it’s going to squander the momentum gained from its red hot first half of the year.

Sperber also shared some thoughts on next Friday’s Robert Easter Jr. title defense versus Denis Shafikov. Tune into that exciting match up at 9:00 PM ET on Bounce TV.

In this week’s introduction I ran down some fight outcomes and mentioned an impressive prospect or two from my trip to Detroit last Friday night, June 16, to check out Claressa Shields’ headlining bout at Salita Promotions’ Detroit Brawl event. I uploaded a couple of videos from the event to the Pay Me No Mind YouTube channel. Please check out the clips and subscribe for future updates. New content will be up later this week from my planned trip to Toledo, Ohio for Easter-Shafikov.

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