Deep Cuts: Skinnyman

Deep Cuts: Skinnyman

September 18, 2017

Skinnyman has been a little quiet of late. He's still doing bits, mind you, regularly getting booking etc., but Alex Holland has never really been one for the limelight. One of the hardest-working figures in UK hip-hop, Skinny's legacy is impossible to ignore; even if he retired today and we never heard from him again, Skinnyman would go down in history for his role in legitimising UK hip-hop as its own entity that doesn't need the U.S. to co-sign it or prop it up. 

Originally a Northerner before moving to Finsbury Park as a child, one of his first forays into music was as a founding member of Mud Family with Mongo and Chester P, a group best known for "Itchy Town" and "Lash Suttin" (a rework of Redman's "Smash Something"). In 2004, though, Skinnyman dropped his solo debut, Council Estate Of Mind, to huge critical acclaim. The album found a brief place in the charts and spawned career-defining singles like "Fuck The Hook", "I'll Be Surprised" and "No Big Ting". 

From there, the rapper spent the next couple of years dropping singles and high-profile collabs with the likes of KRS-One, Sway and even the RZA. Since the mid-2000s, however, he has been a little quiet. With any luck, we can use this playlist to inspire a grassroots campaign to get Skinnyman back in the studio.

Photography: Hyperfrank