Skillz was born in Detroit, Michigan, and moved to Richmond, Virginia at a young age.
He first made a name for himself by finishing in second place (Losing to MC Supernatural) in a national freestyle competition, which eventually resulted in a recording contract with Atlantic Records. At this time he went by the stage name Mad Skillz rather than just Skillz. Mad Skillz’ Atlantic debut album, From Where???, featured the 90’s hip hop classic single, “The Nod Factor”.
He has performed and collaborated with The Roots, Nas, Missy Elliott, Cee Lo Green, Diddy, Raheem Devaughn, Musiq Soulchild, Pharrell Williams, Bilal, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common, Q-Tip, Large Professor, Chris Brown, Freeway, Travis Barker, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Will Smith, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and DJ AM, among others.He has toured the world as Dj Jazzy Jeff’s MC and has recently stepped back behind the turntables himself.