black operation records

    Detroit City based record label specializing in subterranean music.

(Zhao-ski & Black Operation Records)

Zhao-Ski has been a fixture in the Detroit underground scene for some time now, first starting out as a DJ at the age of 14.  Once known as DJ T.E.C.H. (The Extraordinary Chosen Hands) Zhao joined forces with his high school friend Eric (a.k.a. Swift MC) and formed the duo "Swift & T.E.C.H." After high school the group-parted ways, Zhao changed his DJ name to "Mista Madd Skillz" and landed a residency at a nightclub in Canada.  Shortly after landing his Dj gig, Zhao began writing lyrics. While developing his emcee skills he also studied the music business, adapting the D.I.Y. work ethic.

In the late 90's Zhao-Ski started his own label and production company...Black Operation Records. Around that time he became a member of the Trackezoid production team which consist of OneBeLo, Decompoze and Malachi the Most Hi to name a few. Collectively they produced music for the Terrorist Records Camp (Binary Star), Subterraneous Crew, K.I.C. Sounds and many others throughout the local, national and international underground scene. Zhao-Ski being a fast learner was ahead of the curve when he recorded his solo album "Beyond the Obvious" in his apartment back in 2000 (released in 2007) on his home computer before it was popular to do so. In the process he learned how to engineer in the digital realm by reading books and through trial & error, thus making him the "go to guy" in his collective for recording.

After participating in a number of now classic recordings from 2005-2008 (i.e. Octane & iLLite -"Forgotten Chosen", Decompoze -"Decomposition", Kodac M80 - "Looking and Listening", Magestic Legend - "Free"  to name a few) Zhao-Ski was pretty comfortable behind the scenes and the boards until he met Lebanese born aspiring emcee - MC Big A, who encouraged Zhao to return to the forefront and help co-produce and release Big A’s debut Conscious Gangsta" after that "School Rules" and "Lebanon Don" respectively. In 2008, Zhao co-founded K.I.C. Sounds Entertainment with T.Calmese, Fes Roc and Danielle (D-Roc). The company was inspired by the lifestyles and mentality shared by T.Calmese, Fes Roc, Elzhi, Nick Speed, B-Boy 87 and Shawn King who all hung out at Nick Speed's apartment making music referring to themselves as the "Keep It Classic" Clique. In 2009 K.I.C. Sounds signed a distribution deal with legendary producer Baby Paul aka BpZy (formerly of the  Beatminerz) Universal/D.O.E. label and released the "Champion Mix-tape" by T-Calmese and "Audio Visual" by Fes Roc. After fulfilling their Universal/D.O.E.  commitment Zhao turned his focus back to his music and label "Black Operation Records".  

In search of a headquarters for the label and a larger recording space Zhao was introduced to Cornealius (Alter Ego Management) and hometown Techno pioneer Madd Mike Banks - Underground Resistance (UR). Under the mentoring of Madd Mike Banks, Zhao has gained a new perspective, focus and dedication to take his music in new directions. The collaboration with UR/Submerge has taken Black Operation Records into the next chapter...Zhao recently joined the 3 piece THE BAND MINT as the forth member and has been performing locally and gaining a dedicated fanbase. Catch THE BAND MINT around town, STAY TUNED!