Ski Beatz had as good a run as any producer during the mid-to-late ‘90’s. In addition to placing credits on Jay-Z’s critically acclaimed Reasonable Doubt, Ski garnered praise for his work with others such as Camp Lo. Jay-Z’s debut would eventually be certified platinum, and despite being relatively unknown outside the world of Hip Hop, Camp Lo landed a single in Billboard magazine’s Hot 100, when “Luchini (aka This Is It)” spent 17 weeks on the charts. Instead of joining the upper echelon of popular producers, Ski says his critical and commercial success had the opposite effect.

“I started out with that confidence…not giving a fuck about nobody,” Ski told SoulCulture UK during an interview for their “Back to the Future” series. “Then I got jaded through the industry and started changing my music up. I was like, ‘Oh shit. What the fuck am I doing? Who am I? Where’s my music going? Am I supposed to be on top?’”

The North Carolina native said he had a breakdown and just stopped doing music altogether. He added that it wasn’t until he rediscovered the confidence he had as producer/emcee while in Original Flavor that he began making tracks again. Of course, there’s a whole generation of Hip Hop fans that may be unfamiliar with Reasonable Doubt, let alone Original Flavor’s “Can I Get Open.” And Ski added that a different group of emcees helped him in that regard.

“I got with Da$h, Trademark the Skydiver Curren$y and Nesby Phips—the younger generation,” Ski said. “The new cats have the baton, and they’re running with it. I linked up with them and they sound good.”