Near Death Experience, Selling Drugs to Pay Bills & the Motivation Behind His Grind

Words by Marc Ahrendt
Photos by Jane Knowles

Since he was a toddler, Pennsylvania rapper Lil Skies has always had an insatiable drive to succeed in music. His father, who was a musician himself under the moniker Dark Skies, never wrestled with his son, who eagerly wanted to emulate his artistry. After his father nearly lost his life to an explosion at his construction job, Lil Skies morphed into an indomitable workhorse in the studio, vowing to never allow life to rattle him.

To ensure his commitment to music, he got his face tattooed, so that he would never be able to give up and settle for a day job. He also dropped out of college, further cementing his decision. Skies' new sense of urgency proved to be effective, as he deftly carved one of the hottest projects to debut in 2018. With a penchant for infectious hooks and indelible lyrics, Skies' Life of a Dark Rose peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 during its second week last month.