Poprok Friday: Mike Skinner’s Beats Are Better Than Yours

The Streets’ Mike Skinner, a skinny white dude from Birmingham, England, makes the best beats in hip hop. I realize that’s a bold, and somewhat strange, statement, but I am prepared to back it up with many examples, including the above video for his new track, “The Escapist,” off of his upcoming forth LP, Everything is Borrowed. It has pretty much solidified my stance that Mike Skinner’s beats are better than yours.

Skinner has been a critic’s favorite since his debut, Original Pirate Material, came out in 2002 and went platinum in the UK – with mind-blowingly original production on tracks like “It’s Too Late” and “Let’s Push Things Further” (which made it’s way onto MTV in the states). Then later with 2004’s A Grand Don’t Come For Free, tracks like “Blinded by the Lights” completely melted my face, changed my life, and further enforced my theory that his. beats. are. better. than. yours.

On 2006’s Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living, Skinner continued being the shiznit at beat-making, with the title track alone being the best production on a hip hop album that year (whistling and a harpsichord loop? Yeah). On “All Goes Out the Window,” piano and strings lace yet another beautiful track, and I’m sure I hear a $50 casio keyboard from 1982 sneak in at the end (in case you didn’t know hisbeatsarebetterthanyours).

Skinner’s extremely distinct rhyming style (which is really more like spoken word and is actually not very good on any conventional scale) coupled with his ridiculously well-crafted music (which often include live instruments, rather uncommon instruments, and ones that he invents himself) makes for some of the most interesting hip hop – or indie or pretty much anything that exists – in the universe today. However you’d like to categorize it, take a listen to these tracks and tell me honestly that you can argue the undeniable fact…

that his beats are better than yours.

My Poproks

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~ by comehomenow on August 4, 2008.

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