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A socially conscious, working-class white rapper from Britain? Even though, by description, it sounds like The Streets, a.ka. Mike Skinner, would be god-awful, he's surprisingly the real deal. Combining hip-hop, house and jungle with a little garage credibility, Skinner throws down his rhymes cockney style over homemade beats produced from his laptop. He and his good pal Dizzee Rascal are two of the most original and exciting rappers to come out of the U.K. in, I guess, ever. Already a megastar in Britian, amidst enough critical praise to fill 100 press kits, Skinner is well on his way to attaining the serious bling bling Stateside. But he's just a down-to-earth kid from Birmingham who would probably just spend it on a round of pints for his mates at the pub.
Published August 12, 2004