Mayor honors local rapper, proclaims Feb. 13 ‘Mad Skillz Day’


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney has proclaimed February 13 “Mad Skillz Day” to honor one of Richmond’s own. 

Mayor Stoney proclaimed Wednesday as “Mad Skillz Day” in the city of Richmond to celebrate the 23-year anniversary of the rapper’s debut album and his positive influence on the city.

Mad Skillz, the Virginia-native rapper, whose real name Shaqwan Donnie Lewis, is credited with putting the state’s hip-hop scene on the map. For more than 20 years, Mad Skillz has remained an influence in the hip-hop culture. The proclamation highlights the rapper’s hip-hop journey from a young age after moving from Detriot, Michigan to Richmond.

In 1996, Mad Skillz released his debut album “From Where???” a reference to his origins in Virginia. 

As the hip-hop scene in Virginia emerged in the late 1990s, Mad Skillz allied himself with fellow Virginia natives Missy Elliot, Timberland and The Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo).

Fans have become accustomed to his annual “Rap Up“, where the rapper highlights some of the year’s biggest moments. 

Mad Skillz continues to produce and write for other artists, in addition to deejaying. 

In January of 2018, he became an artist-in-residence at the University of Richmond, teaching a course on hip-hop. 

The proclamation read: “Mad Skillz has been a positive influence on our city and has paved the way for younger generations to pursue their dreams of working in the music industry.”

The rapper took to Twitter Wednesday afternoon to thank Mayor Stoney for the honor. 

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