Childhood & Early Life
Lil Skies was born Kimetrius Foose, on August 4, 1998, to interracial American parents in a middle-class household. His father, Michael Burton Jr., was a struggling musician and was known by his stage name, ‘Dark Skies.’ He could not make a great music career, but his immense love for music made Skies fall in love with the art form.
As a child, Michael loved listening to rap music. Skies, however, was introduced to all genres by his father. Michael would often take him to the studios with him. Inspired by his father, Skies started freestyling on his own. His father recorded his voice and showed it to his friends. Hence, Skies was inside a recording studio for the first time at the age of 4.
While he was in school, his father was badly burned in an explosion and sustained severe injuries. Skied finally formed a bond with his father when he was in hospital. Prior to that, Skies was not serious about his career. However, forming a bond with his father changed his perception. Soon, he decided that he wanted to become a rapper.
Skies attended the ‘Waynesboro Area High School’ in Pennsylvania and graduated with good grades. He listened to Lil Wayne and 50 Cent and became a huge fan of both these artists. Inspired by Lil Wayne, he decided his stage name would be ‘Lil Skies.’
After graduating high school, Skies got enrolled at the ‘Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania.’ By then, he had decided that it was the right time to get into a full-fledged music career. He tattooed his face to prevent himself from getting a steady job. He dropped out of college in the first year and ventured into a rapping career at the age of 18.
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By the time he joined university, he had already started freestyling on rap beats at college shows. He was also academically good. As a result, he became quite popular in college. He once got the opportunity to open a Fetty Wap show. This led him to gain a massive online fan base.
However, by then, he was already a minor celebrity on ‘YouTube’ and ‘SoundCloud.’ He uploaded his music video for the song ‘Lonely’ in August 2015, and the thunderous response to the song made him work on more music. He continued to upload music videos on ‘YouTube’ and slowly gained followers.
In 2016, he uploaded a second music video, ‘Da Sauce,’ which became a massive hit and gained more than a million “views.” His ‘SoundCloud’ account gained followers with each new upload. The same year, Skies released his debut mixtape, ‘Good Grades, Bad Habits 2.’
The first instalment of the mixtape was not released publicly. The tape talked about his struggles in school and college, as he was a straight-A student. However, his interests lay somewhere else. The mixtape was released on ‘SoundCloud’ and ‘YouTube.’
By 2017, he had started making music full-time, as he had already dropped out of college by then. In January 2017, his second official mixtape, ‘Alone,’ was released. Following this, he started working on his first debut album, which was to be recorded under the independent label, ‘All We Got.’
The first single from the album, ‘Red Roses,’ was released in July 2017. The single became an instant hit and earned a place on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ chart. The song was created in collaboration with rapper Landon Cube. Within a few weeks, the song reached the 69th spot, which was still a major achievement for a beginner such as him. The song was eventually certified “gold” by the ‘RIAA,’ and its music video was launched on ‘YouTube’ in October.
In December 2017, Skies released another single, ‘Nowadays,’ which fared slightly better on the American rap charts. The song debuted on ‘Billboard Hot 100’ at number 85 and peaked at number 55. The single was downloaded more than 500 thousand times and was certified “gold” by the ‘RIAA.’
In January 2018, before his mixtape ‘Life of a Dark Rose’ released, ‘Atlantic Records’ had already established a business deal with him. This led to a promise of a big release, and Skies was thus all geared up to launch himself as a prominent rapper.
The tape was released and became an instant commercial hit. Two of the songs from the album had been released earlier and provided momentum to the official release of the album. The album featured 14 tracks and featured artists such as Jamaal Henry, Alex Petit, Julian Gramma, Snodgrass, and Nicholas Mira.
The album debuted at the 23nd spot on the ‘Billboard 200’ chart and was also among the top 20 of many others. By the end of the month, the album was among the top 10 albums of many of those charts.
The album got positive reviews from most critics. However, some were not happy at all.
Following the release of his album, Skies embarked on a tour called the ‘Life of a Dark Rose Tour’ in 2018. However, the tour was cut short, as he fell ill midway.
However, that did not stop Skies from gaining respect among the rapper community in the industry. In 2018, he was featured in the single ‘Off the Gas’ by ‘6 Dogs.’