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A Grand Don't Come for Free (Bonus Track Version)

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Editors’ Notes

"Concept album" may be too pretentious a name for Brit hip-hopper Mike Skinner's off-handedly brilliant sophomore effort A Grand Don't Come For Free. But these 11 tracks have a narrative flow all the more irresistible because it's so mundane. Loserish stoner 'Mike' gets girl, loses girl, misplaces 1000 pounds, then finds it again, amid everyday minutiae like broken appliances, bad drug experiences, and a blown football bet. Backed by simple and mechanical DIY beats, Skinner's Brummie/Cockney-laced rhymes stutter along high and sometimes awkward in the mix, closer to old-fashioned storytelling than what we think of as rap. Musical flourishes are all the more striking amid the general sparseness: The grandiose horns of "It Was Supposed To Be So Easy," and the Blur-ish guitars of the lad anthem "Fit and You Know It." The eight-minute closing epic "Empty Cans" hits like a hurricane, its snarling, stabbing drumbeats giving way to piano in a stunning and redemptive turnaround. You might not be able to dance to most of this, but A Grand isn't background music; it deserves close attention the way a great book demands to be read.


Born: 27 November 1978 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Mike Skinner's recordings as the Streets marked the first attempt to add a degree of social commentary to Britain's party-hearty garage/2-step (and later grime) movement. Skinner, a Birmingham native who later ventured to the capital, was an outsider in the garage scene, though his initial recordings appeared on Locked On, the premiere source for speed garage and, later, 2-step from 1998 to the end of the millennium. He spent time growing up in North London as well as Birmingham, and listened first...
Full bio
A Grand Don't Come for Free (Bonus Track Version), The Streets
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  • 11,99 €
  • Genres: Hip-Hop/Rap, Music, Dance, House, Rap
  • Released: 10 May 2004

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