Image credit: Volcano Entertainment
It’s amazing how much time flies and how much things have changed over the years. It was just yesterday that it was 1995 where you saw the introduction to America pop culture of the influence of gangsta rap. Bill Clinton was our president of the United States. Michael Jackson had the world in awe with the visual for “Remember The Time”. The Houston Rockets have won their 1st NBA World Championship. “The Admiral” David Robinson was the league MVP and California’s own Skee-Lo had the nation dancing to his smash hit “I Wish”. Antoine Roundtree didn’t see it before but “I Wish” created a fun, iconic moment in an dark, grey time where no one wasn’t to fond of the rap culture.
Now married with two kids, Skee-Lo is sitting back and continuing to enjoy the success of an song that is still being idolized and often imitated in movies, tv shows and commercials. Recently, ESPN debut a new campaign which includes the hit song on their commercial. After realizing an possible re-birth of the hit track, RESPECT was able to sit down with the man who create the iconic track.
RESPECT: When you made the classic single “I Wish”, did you fathom or even imagine that this track would’ve leave an major impact on to the culture of hip hop?
Skee-Lo: I knew the song would appeal to the masses however, I had no Idea it would be as big as it has become today; song and album alike. As far as the impact on hip hop culture; I leave that to the fans to decide. I just try to stay true to self, go against the grain, inspire change from the underground.
RESPECT: When you was in the booth or in your own space creating the song, what was the creative process like?
Skee-Lo: The creative process was organic. I had been working on the “I Wish” album for several months. One day I was spring cleaning my home studio &, in the background playing “Bernard Wright.” Suddenly, I come across a brass horn section playing on the record and; I saw a vision to make it into a hit song.. I stopped everything without hesitation, turned on my (AKAI MPC 60) and began producing. The lyrics would come weeks later and; the rest is history.
RESPECT: The song was major hit when you had dominated ballers like MJ, Shaq, and Grant Hill becoming the major faces of the NBA. Who was that one NBA player you wanted to be like in that era and why?
Skee-Lo: Derek Fisher is one of my favorite players & guards at the time and still is. He’s also my alter ego on the court. You can always count on him in the clutch &, he’s a real team player. Also, my family & friends jokingly call him “Skee-Lo;” saying we look just alike; lol.
RESPECT: I noticed you remixed it this time around by saying “you wish you was a little bit smaller” as paying homage to the arrival of the small guards leading their team to championship prominence. What guard in today’s NBA you think would’ve made a big impact had they played in the era where “I Wish” was a major smash?
Skee-Lo: Steph Curry; He would have smashed the 90’s; no doubt.
RESPECT: Who do you have winning the NBA Finals? Why?
Skee-Lo: Golden State.. It’s a strong team; they play to win and, they have great chemistry.
RESPECT: What is one wish you wanted to come true that never came to life?
Skee-Lo: All my wishes have come true from that time. I know have the freedom to do as on pleases with my career because of it. Everyday is like a Friday.
Here’s a #ThrowbackThursday visual of the song that landmarked Skee-Lo’s name amongst rap’s immortals of hit makers.