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Music, Reviewed The Streets

The Streets

Since rising to international fame in 2002 with the rowdy, inventive Original Pirate Material, British MC Mike Skinner — aka the Streets — has released a series of increasingly sincere albums. Starting with his 2004 narrative-heavy masterpiece A Grand Don't…
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Music, BeatBox UK hip hop passes the mic

UK hip hop passes the mic

The War of 1812 obviously settled nothing, judging by the intrusion of the Brits upon America's hallowed grounds of hip hop. The thing is, something special is simmering in rap music across the pond: the garage- and dance hall-influenced beats,…
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Music, Hip Hop's International Overflow

Hip Hop's International Overflow

In case you missed it, hip hop has gone global. One of America's truly homegrown musical genres and social barometers has definitely left the building, as rap has been appropriated and infused with a new vivacity by emcees and producers…
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Music, Reviewed The Streets

The Streets

Mike Skinner's cockney argot and squirrelly cynicism always plays well Stateside — even if the U.S. audience comprises more hipsters than hip-hop heads — but back in the land of boiled meat he's huge. Maybe that's the problem. The woes…
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Year End, God Save the Scene

God Save the Scene

It's difficult to survey the hip-hop of 2004, more bloated and self-referential than ever, and not imagine the mythical AOR wasteland of the mid-'70s. Like rock before it, hip-hop has easily won a cultural acceptance once unthinkable, and our reward…
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Music, Reviewed The Streets

The Streets

Huh? The thing is, the first record, Original Pirate Material, was good: Gah-Rodge beats, Eminem-orchestral strings, and not-so-tough stories about playing some PlayStation or rolling the occasional spliff. Nobody believed that scrawny little MC Mike Skinner could actually hack it…
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Music, The New Britpop

The New Britpop

For a rapper, Mike Skinner is awfully reticent. Coaxing an answer out of the English artist is like pulling teeth -- which is ironic, given that his recent album is so lyrically thick that many critics seem to have overlooked…
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