Several weeks back, Twitter exploded with inquiries about Lance Skiiiwalker, a singer and producer who has recently aligned himself with the TDE powerhouse and received a simultaneous cosign from everyone on the label. Lance has been working with TDE for a some time now, but out west wasn't always what he called home.
Originally hailing from Chicago, Lance "Skiiiwalker" Howard went by Johnny Rocket in the late 2000's as one half of The Rocketeers, a rap duo alongside Indianapolis native D-Win. The two met during a time in Chicago's music history that chewed up artists and spit them out. Before the shift in culture that we saw following the emergence of Chief Keef and Chance The Rapper in 2012, the local music scene was much less vibrant and Chicago like the rest of the midwest was still very much considered a fly over city for anything with entertainment value. In 2008 when The Rocketeers gave it a go, blogs were still new, streaming didn't exist the way it does now, and being a rapper required a lot more effort. The Rocketeers didn't make it, but during their short run they managed to drop a couple projects that have since been seemingly wiped from online existence, and gained the attention of a very young and innovative music community. The duo were even nominated for an award at mtvU Woddie Award.
Like many of the era, Johnny Rocket had to go elsewhere to chase the music dream after The Rocketeers disbanded. There's a big chunk of time following the release of The Rocketeers Stylish Shoes & Colored Jeans that Johnny Rocket has gone accounted for, in fact Johnny Rocket was never to return again. Instead, the mysterious Lance Skiiiwalker casually steps out on several songs from Jay Rock's 90059 album, including the project's title track. Skiiiwalker has also contributed to Kendrick's Untitled and Schoolboy Q's Oxymoron.
Following all the buzz generated by his labelmates, Lance's relationship with TDE was officially announced on May 20th when TDE president Dave Free called Skiiiwalker a "breakthrough artist for this generation". Day's later Lance releases the busy and extremely funky "Speed", his first solo single of record. Now that the cat is out of the bag about Lance Skiiiwalker being one to the two "John Doe's" on TDE's whiteboard, we can also gather from that whiteboard that a project is in development. Lance confirms as much with the release of his new single along with an announcement that Introverted Intuition is on the way. We know a little about Lance Skiiiwalker now, but I'm sure we'll learn plenty more in the coming months.