Silkk the Shocker Biography
It’s not easy being the little brother of an overachiever. But Silkk the Shocker has managed to hold his own.
As the youngest brother of recording artist/actor/director/athlete/clothing designer/entrepreneur Master P, Silkk has always been comfortable in his own skin, and for some time, even resisted following his brothers into the rap music world. But when he finally answered the call, he did so on his own terms. The handsome, 6’5” rapper didn’t make the grade just because his last name was Miller, he stepped up to the mic with undeniable rap skills and earned his spot on top of the No Limit tank.
Born Vyshonn Miller, Silkk grew up in New Orleans, LA with brothers Percy Miller a/k/a Master P and Corey Miller a/k/a C- Murder. Silkk once entertained the idea of playing professional basketball, preferring the sport -- for a while, anyway -- to the glitz and glamour of a rap career. But once Silkk came off the bench and got into the rap game, he proved to be a sharpshooter who could slam dunk on any emcee on the court.
Check the stats: Silkk has been a gold and platinum selling artist since his dazzling 1996 debut, “The Shocker,” which was followed by 1998’s “Charge It 2 Da Game,” the album that spawned the hit “Movin’ On” with R&B songstress Mya and racked up some 2.5 million in sales. He returned the following year with the platinum-plus hit “Made Man” which made its debut on the Billboard Top 200 chart at #1, selling more than 240,000 copies in it’s first week. He then followed that up with 2001’s gold-selling “My World My Way.”
Silkk’s also had his hands in several No Limit bestsellers including the soundtrack for the No Limit feature film “I’m Bout It,” Mia X’s “Unlady Like,” Mystikal’s “Unpredictable,” Master P’s “Ghetto D,” the 2X platinum “Tru 2 Da Game” (as a member of the group Tru) and the platinum-plus “Goodfellas” (as a member of the 504 Boyz).
And if conquering the rap game weren’t enough, Silkk next began to hone his acting skills, starting with a small part in his brother’s first feature film, “I’m Bout It,” and going on to take roles in “MP Da Last Don,” “Hot Boyz,” “Corrupt,” “Undisputed” and most recently, “Honey.” He also starred in, wrote and produced the straight–to-DVD feature film release, “All in the Game,” to hit stores soon and is also gearing up for “Family Reunion,” a feature film co-written, produced and starring Silkk through his film production company Mega Films. The film will star Patti LaBelle, Rickey Smiley and will be directed by Lionel C. Martin.
In 2001, just as Silkk the Shocker was ascending the ladder of success, he quietly exited the game, taking a self-imposed three-year hiatus. During that time, he says he gave little thought to his rap career. “I was taking a break,” he explains. “Even though I liked performing, I wasn’t feeling excited about it. I had some other business ventures I was involved in, so I really wasn’t focusing on rap until one day I was in the studio rhyming a little and it dawned on me that I had gotten so much better because I had taken a break from it. So I got back in the studio and started creating more and more music.”
The result is “Based on a True Story,” (Six Five/New No Limit/Koch Records) a set of songs featuring some of his best work to date, Silkk says. “I think this album is about growth,” he muses. “This is my best album yet. I’ve been working on it for some time now and this is one of the few albums that I’ve listened to consistently for the whole time I was working on it. Usually I’d do an album and be done with it and I don’t want to listen to it. On this album I’ve grown a lot. The album touches on everything. I’ve got East coast beats, West coast beats, street stuff, party stuff. I feel like it’s an all-around album. I had a lot to talk about because I’ve seen a lot of things and been a lot of places since my last album.
And Silkk takes us lots of places on “True Story” -- from the streets to the clubs and back. “Everything on the album is based on a true story whether it was something I experienced or something someone I know experienced. Whether it was a party, or about a relationship or something related to the streets, I feel like I’ve been there.”
The first single from the album is the club banging “I Like Them Girls,” featuring Master P. “It’s just one of those nod your head, feel good songs,” Silkk explains. One of his favorites on the album is “I Don’t Know Why.” “It’s not a love song but I took the hook from an old school R&B song that I liked he explains. “I like that one and I also like ‘Forgive Me.’ It touches on street issues and stuff that happens on a daily basis in the hood.” Other tracks include “Playa Playa” which Silkk describes as “sort of a southern chant,” and the hardcore club tracks, “Hey You” and “Lockdown.”
Silkk says fans will definitely hear a difference in his sound this time around. “Before, I was the kind of rapper who would say anything. I’d speed rap and you really couldn’t even catch everything I said. You might catch it later on if you listen to it a couple of times. But on this album I slowed it down and toned it down a lot so everybody can get it. Everybody can understand it the first time they hear it.”
Of “Based on a True Story,” Silkk says: “I definitely think this time around I’m gonna make my own identity. This time around I think I’m gonna bring a bigger influence. I didn’t know how much talent I had until I stepped back from it and looked at the industry as a consumer. I feel like now I can bring something to this rap game that people can appreciate. The down time just made me take a deep breath and realize if I’m gonna be in the rap game I don’t wanna be just another rapper. I wanna be one of the best. It’s like playing basketball. If I’m not gonna be in the best shape and I’m not gonna be one of the starters, then I don’t wanna come off the bench.”