Thursday, April 13, 2006

You're Listening To The Streets

That’s it
Turn the page on the day, walk away
’cause they’re sensing what I say
I’m 45th generation roman
But I don’t know ’em
Or care when I’m spitting
So return to your sitting position and listen it’s fitting
I’m miles ahead and they chase me
Show yer face on tv, then we’ll see
You’re can’t do half, my crew laughs
At yer rhubarb and custard verses
Yer rain down curses but I’m waving,
Yer hearse is driving by
Streets riding high, with the beats in the sky
All stare, eyes glazed
Garage burnt down, the fire raged
For 40 days and in 40 ways
But through the blaze they see it fade
The sea of black, the beaming heat on their faces
Their figure emerges from the wasteage
Eyes transfixed with a piercing gaze
One hand clutching a sword raised to the sky
--The Streets

If you missed it, the NP profiled Mike Skinner, aka: the Streets this week..
Open mike
British rapper The Streets has provoked criticism with his latest album simply by doing what he has always done -- being honest about himself

Mike Skinner, better known as The Streets, has left behind the Everyman persona of his first two albums for a look at celebrity living.

Adam Radwanski, National Post
Published: Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Over the phone from New York, Mike Skinner is explaining why he escaped stateside to mix his third album. "At the time, I'd just signed a deal with Reebok and they were putting me on the side of all the buses in London," he says. "I always like to be out of the country when it gets the most mental."

This would probably be a good time for the rapper better known as The Streets to plot a lengthy vacation.

Until now, Skinner has built his career on an ability to make something remarkable of the mundane. His 2002 debut, Original Pirate Material, was a left-field success story -- a bedroom album fusing hip hop and rock, billed by Skinner as "a day in the life of a geezer," that somehow captured the zeitgeist of British youth culture. His big breakthrough, 2004's A Grand Don't Come for Free, was a concept album about going to clubs, taking recreational drugs, lining up for chips, meeting a girl, losing a girl, sitting around his couch -- all tied together with a storyline in which he suspects his friends of stealing (ps)1,000, only to discover it behind his TV on the final track. It's not inherently scintillating stuff, but Skinner somehow made it sound epic -- generating two massive hit singles in the U.K., the pub-crawl anthem Fit But You Know It and the tear-jerking Dry Your Eyes. Moving three million copies, he became the voice of British kids decked out in athletic gear and living much the same lifestyle he rhymed about.

Radwanski really doesn't hit on the genius of Skinner's skills...possibly because Radwanski isn't much of a rap critic? When's the last time he interviewed 50 Cent?

Skinner isn't great simply because of his honesty, or content. In a world of gangsta rappers vs. progressives, with variations of crunk, chop'd & screwed, dre productions and kanye beats, Skinner's production and delivery are homegrown, original and interesting. He raps offbeat. He rarely brags, and is more likely to diss himself than anyone(except on the new crap album). He wants rap to break its 15 hiatus of creativity. His beats are UK garage, and he tells a good story....

In short, he's miles ahead.....Em's played out, Kanye's all out of ideas and beats, Jay-Z's tired and retired, Nas is out of beef, and 50's out of content...

It's just unfortunate that Skinner is too...His first disc is a rap/UK classic, and it's going to take a master to dislocate him from the throne of UK Grime because of it...

All eyes are on you, Dizzee Rascal...

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