Skillz (formerly Mad Skillz, born Donnie Shaquan Lewis in Richmond, Virginia) is an African-American rapper. Known as a talented freestyle rapper, Skillz has not received widespread acclaim outside of the hip-hop community, but within it is considered one of its best performers. He first made a name for himself by finishing in second place in a national freestyle competition in 1995, which resulted in a recording contract with Atlantic Records. Skillz' Atlantic debut, From Where???, and its single, The Nod Factor, were released in 1996, but sank without a trace.