Track By Track: The Heavens Will Help
Track by track: THE HEAVENS WILL HELP
By James “Tubby” Storlie
I needed a vacation. I've been working up North a lot lately and haven't had the time to get away and relax in over a year. Between working on the Slope, coming home and doing the daddy thing and my musical endeavors (Tubby & Friends), I've been a busy man. So, I decided it was time to get away.
Our family has a nice little house boat located in Port Orchard, Washington. The family tries to get together down there and spend time together on the boat two to three times a year. Because I’ve been so busy, it had been over a year since I got to go down and relax on the boat. And I decided that's where I wanted to go to unwind. I also figured while I was down there I'd go and visit my good friend Keezy of The Sky Division.
Keezy moved down to Seattle a few years ago. He had just recently moved into a new spot on the West end and invited me over to catch up, smoke some of Washington's finest and discuss his latest project, The Heavens Will Help, an album many are considering to be a hip-hop classic already, just weeks after its release.
For those who may need a quick crash course on who Keezy is, here's a quick rundown:
In Anchorage, Alaska, there was a group of kids in their late teens who made music, they called themselves The Sky Division. It consisted of many people, but the main dudes were Keezy, Darius and Sk8 God (Darius' brother). There were many other affiliate artists as well. They were a collective of creatives who were well-known and respected all around Anchorage, and eventually Josh Boots put them under his Marvel Us Music imprint and their names continued to grow from there.
I noticed Sky Division early on via Boots and became a huge fan and supporter of not just the movement as a whole, but each artist individually. To many people, Keezy was the nucleus of Sky Div. To many others, Darius was that creative nucleus and, over time, just like many talented super groups—yes, I said SUPER groups. I'm available to break down what that is and why they are one for anyone, individually. DM Me—egos and emotions got the best of a beautiful situation and Darius and Keezy separated. Keezy and the rest of Sky Division pushed forward and Darius went on to pursue a solo route and is now one of the biggest hip-hop artists in Alaska. Not long after that, Sk8 God left to focus on his individual career. And even though those separations severed friendships, ones that haven't been completely reconciled to this day, there's no denying the impact Sky Division had on Anchorage. They were the first wave of young kids to make high quality rap music locally—there was crisp production and intricate lyricism and songwriting. They sounded like they knew what they were doing and they had the music, videos, performances and parties to back up the hype. They made an impact that is still evident in Anchorage today.
Keezy's apartment is pretty much empty. A couple unpacked boxes, a lamp, a bag of some strong sativa and a pack of Backwoods. That's it. No chairs, no furniture, nothing. He'd been there so briefly the cable guy hadn't installed the Wi-Fi yet.
Keezy went downstairs, introduced himself to a neighbor, and then paid her $20 for access to her Wi-Fi account. I was actually rather impressed by the move.
So, I set up my laptop, GoPro and audio mic next to the stove in the kitchen and began to roll a blunt. I hit record, pulled up Keezy’s The Heavens Will Help and me and my good friend, who I hadn't seen in months, got to talking.
The Heavens Will Help
The album starts off with a gentleman speaking to Keezy. The man speaking is a family member of an individual who had a heart attack at a gym that Keezy works at. Keezy just so happened to learn CPR in a training class the day before this happened and because of that class Keezy was able to save this individual's life.
The gentleman speaks about prayer and God and how he truly believes Keezy was there for a reason. Then the title track begins.