Skinnyman - Manchester Academy 2 - 15.10.04

As his name would suggest, Skinnyman is indeed a thin individual with not an ounce of fat on him. Yorkshire born, but based in Finsbury park since the age of 9 this founder member of The Bury Crew and Mud Family has spent time in Her Majesties Pleasure, but the guy on stage doesn't brag, boast or glamorize his past misdemeanours. Instead he has the glow of positive realization and through the rhymes, beats and pulsating rhythms, Skinnyman educates, informs but never preaches to his audience. The follow up to his self titled debut is the remarkable "Council Estate Of Mind", more authentic about ghetto life than even the Streets.

Who ever said white men can't rap have obviously never seen Skinnyman captivate a crowd. He may look slight in stature and resemble Gary Crowleys younger brother, but Skinnyman is driven, determined and 100% committed to his chosen craft. DJ Flip is here laying down the beats, scratching and working his magic. Skinny's voice is clear, concise and is the sound of truth. A good attitude and confident delivery ensure that Skinnyman is in the same league as Dizzee Rascal with the passion to match. He loves to improvise, freestylin with the ease of a master. Whereas 50 Cent has built his career on being shot fourteen times, Skinny warns us in his raps about drugs, gang warfare and crime and informs us that this lifestyle can be devastating. Other spot on targets include Blair and Bush, atrocious school teachers and how addiction to narcotics can drive you to the brink of death.

Skinnyman tries out his poetry and the depth and skill in his delivery are second to none. This is rap free of homophobia, misogyny, misplaced machismo and violence. Skinnyman's weapon of choice is his positive use of the English language and while he does acknowledge that 21st Century Britain can be bleak, he counter balances it with freedom of choice to be educated, change for the better and make a difference in society. I've seen the future of British rap and his name in Skinnyman

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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