Robert Antonio Gabriel was born on August 14, 1984 in NYC and raised in the predominantly Dominican neighborhood of Washington Heights.
Better known by his stage name “Skematics”, the dynamic MC was born to Dominican parents. Thus he was immediately exposed to the Caribbean rhythms of Merengue, Bachata, Salsa, Soul and Boleros, among other folk music of Latin heritage, via the music collection of his parents.
At the age of 11, Robert’s cousin played the classic “Enter The 36 Chambers” tape, by the Wu-Tang Clan, which made Robert realize that rhyming was something that he wanted and could actually do. At the age of 12, he joined his schools gospel choir where he received musical training and learned to convert his raps and poems into full songs.
Fast-forward a few years, Robert decided to occupy time by rhyming and battling in ciphers with other young MCs in his school’s hallways, on the street and anywhere else the challenge was available.
In 2002, Robert felt that it was time to expand from the Uptown scene and headed to Providence, Rhode Island, where some of his family had been living.
Robert’s moniker at the time was Skeem, which would reflect the lifestyle he had been leading at the time. Working on some of his music ideas, Robert began producing tracks as well. Having developed a variety of songs, he created a body of work titled “Before the Money, Before the Fame, Before The World Knows My Name”.
After a few years OT, he returned home to Washington Heights to continue producing “Before…”. He left the street life for good and finally found himself with the name Skematics.
Since his return, Skematics released the “Before…” mixtape, created the “Hit ‘Em Hard Showcase” with L.A. Jimenez, presenting Skematics and other upcoming MCs from Uptown, opened up shows for the legendary Sean Price (and recorded with him), the legendary Wu-Tang, Tito El Bambino from Puerto Rico and the legendary DJ Tony Touch. Aside from the shows, Skematics & long time friend C.V.T. recorded “Get Butt Naked” which garnered over 140,000 unique views.
In 2011, Skematics resumed his work on a new mixtape titled “Crash Course.” This opus focused on experimental sounds and neighborly collaborations with other artists. It was finally released in 2012 with the help of the legendary DJ PF Cuttin.
More recently, Skematics linked up with MCs such as Saigon, Sean Price (R.I.P) and Joell Ortiz. These collaborations appear in Skematics newest EP, titled, “Somewhere In The Gray”. This 5 song project shows Skematics development as a producer and MC, expanding on composing, arrangements, live instrumentation and his writing ability to step into the chambers of these reputable MCs and hold his own with them.
Somewhere In The Gray was well received by the Hip-Hop community, with all the singles being reviewed by websites such as Hip Hop DX, This Is 50, 2 Dope Boyz, and Nah Right to name a few.
2017 will prove to be the breakthrough year for Skematics music.