In April of 2010, Michael Burton Jr. was working at a chemical plant in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania when there was an unfortunate accident. A chemical explosion caused him to go through multiple surgeries and spent years in and out of hospitals.
He decided the only way he could get past this incident was to create music and tell his story. He went by the rap name skies and instead of doing it on his own, he made music with his son. Their album was called Father/Son Talk and it brought them closer than ever and Michael passed something to his son even bigger than he could've dreamed of.
An accident led to the future, and the artist now known as Lil Skies.
It's beautiful to see great things come out of unfortunate situations. The story behind Lil Skies and his family is incredible. It gives me as a father motivation to always make sure to include my son in everything I am passionate about.
At just 20 years old, it may seem as if he is a new up and coming artist. But he's been doing this since he was about 13 years old, so being a musician has come natural. He is already on his second full length album and looks to have a promising career.
His following seems to be a positive group of young people who admire his lyricism for its consistency. Consistency in the fact that he is always looking forward and remembering that everything that has happened in the past is a lesson.
But it hasn't always been this way. His lyricism has come a long way in just a few years as a signed artist.
We'll go year by year to see the growth. "Rude" came out in 2017 and was just the third official video he ever recorded.
It's got a lot of your typical references about fake bitches and disloyal niggas. But you could see the potential. The flow was smooth and the story telling ability was in it's early stages.
It's similar to what you would see from a rookie in the NBA. That first year is always going to have its rough patches. There will be ups and downs, but there will always be flashes of the future that get you excited of what could come.
A lot of the song was in your basic four bar sequence. But every so often you would get a cold four bars and tell yourself "Ok youngin."
Call my lawyer, I'm beating the case
Fast forward one year, and it was the same kid but with a whole new approach to the beat. His 2018 video "Welcome to the Rodeo" was his introduction to the rap world. The video is a homage to Lil Wayne's "A Milli" as the camera follows Lil Skies backstage of a production set.
A little bit of time has passed and he has ben able to learn how to reflect on his past. He talks about his long nights in his garage, selling drugs to get his money up. Not sure how his dad would feel about him selling drugs, but it's tough to imagine a scenario where a struggling family would be able to pay for all those medical bills on a middle class salary.
But now he's at the top of his game and everyone who doubted him is trying to get in on his fortune. Another similarity to young NBA players who sign that first contract. Old friends and family they haven't seen in years start to come to them and ask to be around. Everyone wants to be close to you when you're on, but don't want to be there while you're struggling through the journey.
He bet on himself when nobody besides his close family did. The kid got tattoos on his face, so you know he that's he all in on himself.
I got tattoos on my face, I use that shit as motivation
It's 2019 now, and Lil Skies is a steady force in the rap game. His sophomore album was no slump. He kept his momentum going and may have dropped his best song of his young career.
"i" is a look into the mind of a kid who is getting closer to his emotional side. He is learning how to express himself with more of a mellow tone. Rap isn't always about coming with hard bars, and he realizes that.
This track has made him more relatable to people who may have thought his music was slightly aggressive, or may have judged him by his face tattoos. Everyone has times of sadness and darkness, and Lil Skies is no different.
Life goes on, I can't take breaks
The story of Lil Skies and how he became to be is enough to view him as an inspiration. But his story isn't over, it's just beginning.
So as he continues his growth in music and in life, we will be able to know where it all started and enjoy the journey with him. The sky is the limit for Lil Skies.