Spotlight: Dre Skuffs


21 Jun 17

The 4our Pillars are the foundation of Hip Hop; each pillar represents one of the following: Aerosol Art, MC’s, DJ’s and B-Boys. On 9 June, 4our Pillars hosted a memorable event at Boxpark Croydon with a legion of talented artists and performers.

One such live performance came from Dre Skuffs – the Jamaican/American Hip Hop artist whose honest rhymes have him turning heads the world over. We caught up with him to find out more about his influences and his future projects…

You’ve been writing rhymes from a young age. Who were your biggest inspirations growing up?

2pac inspired me to pick up the pen and begin to write. Growing up, I always loved hip hop. My environment was hip hop, but I didn’t think writing rhymes was for me until I heard ‘Dear Mama by 2pac.  It was then I realised that you can speak from your heart and express your deepest thoughts. Writing rhymes became therapeutic to me. 

Nas also inspired me. Nas was the artist that showed me how clever you can be with rhyming. He inspired me so much. Hearing song like ‘I Gave You Power‘ really made me fall in love with the lyrical and creative aspect of rhyme writing. Outside of those artists, I was inspired by life, different experiences and my reality.

You’ve been called the ‘voice of the streets’, why do you think your words connect to so many people?

My words are real. The way I paint my picture with words allows all people to understand and relate. When I talk about the realities of what goes on in my neighbourhood, or most African American communities, it allows the people without a voice to feel their story is being told.  I also write from a perspective that all human beings can relate. There’s something in my music for the entire human race.

You’re not just known for your written output. Can you talk a little bit more about your other productions?

I’m a jack of all trades! In the past, I saved tons of money by putting together my own video treatments, directing, filming and editing my own music videos.  I’m also pretty sick with Photoshop. Over the years I’ve been responsible for designing a lot of my own cover art and advertisements. 

You’ve been playing a few shows in London. What do you make of the UK Hip Hop scene?

I love it. I love the respect the UK has for lyricism. I love the respect the UK has for the Hip Hop culture. I really have been paying close attention to the UK Hip Hop scene the past few years; lots of talent and potential.  Hopefully, we’ll figure out a way to bridge the gap between US and UK Hip Hop.

Did you enjoy your set with the 4our Pillars of Hip Hop, at Boxpark Croydon?

I loved my set! I was grateful to be apart of the 4our Pillars of Hip Hop’s event. Side note – that food at Boxpark was littttt!!! Can we talk about possibly getting a Boxpark in New Jersey before 2020 ha-ha!  I just hope to get a phone call or email being invited back on the big stage.  I did my research on Boxpark and I see what it looks like when y’all do it BIG. Dre Skuffs needs to get on the big monitor!  See if you can pull some strings for me to open up for the next major Hip Hop show. I’ll come with the live band and all, ha-ha.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

Well, the most recent Hip Hop album I heard was Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Damn‘. Outside of that, I just been listening to a little bit of everything. All different genres of music.  

Finally, what does the rest of 2017 hold for you?

Great things! More shows and a new EP that I will be releasing featuring production by, Berlin based producer, Pawcut. Stay tuned!

If you want to find out more about Dre Skuffs and his upcoming shows and music releases, you can follow him online on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.