Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

All Play for a Brummie Eminem

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

All Play for a Brummie Eminem

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL CLARK

IT COULD have been a scene out of Phoenix Nights, which was ironically airing as The Streets hit the stage at this west London relic of proletarian recreation. The select crowd, which boasted Damon Albarn among its number, merrily mingled below a stern warning: No Bingo To Be Played At The Bar. The full house respectfully managed to keep their pencils in their pockets.

The caller they wanted eventually emerged from behind gold foil curtains, cheekily dragging on the remnants of a fag and swilling lager. The Streets, aka 22-year-old Brummie rapper Mike Skinner, has gone from bedroom boredom to stardom in little over a year, thanks to his Mercury-nominated album, Original Pirate Material.

Looking more like a fresh-faced paperboy than the "British Eminem", Skinner wasted no time in locking on to his uncompromising lyrical wavelength. His rolling soliloquies on urban preoccupations, delivered with little regard for the musical backdrop, lent themselves more to the spoken word tradition than to the rhythmic patter of American rap. …

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