Long on talent but short on industry luck, (Mad) Skillz has earned a name for himself among underground fans for his dazzling freestyles and audacious singles but, so far, has failed to put out a commercially viable album. On his third official effort, THE MILLION DOLLAR BACKPACK, Skillz proves what longtime listeners have known for years--namely that the Virginia rapper holds the most apt stage name in hip-hop. In addition to the usual barrage of verbal acrobatics and head-scratching similes, Skillz uses a band of capable producers (DJ Jazzy Jeff, Questlove, Bink, Kwame, Orthodox, Yusef Deniro, among others) in order to put together a well-rounded LP that moves from grimy and hardcore to uplifting and danceable. Common, Freeway, and Black Thought are also featured.
AllMusic Review by Matt Rinaldi