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Skinnyman (born Alex Holland) is a rapper born in Leeds, who moved to Finsbury Park, London at a young age. He formed the seminal Mud Family alongside Mongo and Chester P with whom he released a number of EPs. These included such underground hits as Itchy Town and Lash Suttin, a reworking of Redman’s Smash Something. After a period of incarceration for dealing marijuana and the collapse of a record deal with Talkin’ Loud/Def Jam UK, Skinnyman released his much delayed solo album, Council Estate of Mind, through Lowlife Records in 2004. The album was well received by fans and critics, the highest new entry in the UK’s charts on the week of its release, to some surprise. Heavily autobiographical and socially analytical, the album makes much use of samples from Made in Britain, a British film from the early 1980s (and Tim Roth’s acting debut). Since the album’s release, Skinnyman has been one of the few UK hip-hop artists from the very insular scene to branch out and work with grime artists such as Wiley and Shystie.

He has received considerable attention from United Kingdom hip hop radio and press. A lesser known fact about him is that he beat Eminem in a rapping contest in London’s Subterranea.

He was featured in Tower Block Dreams, a documentary by the BBC premiering in January 2004.


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