Title - The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living (Atlantic)
Artist - The Streets
The positive thing about British Hip-Hop is the fact that it isn't purely like hip-hop here in the U.S. In Britain, a lot of their hip-hop is a mix of electronica and a dance-pop feel. Us in the united states would most likely argue that our hip-hop in some instances is more about street cred. Where MC Skinner lacks in street cred, he makes it up in the expletive heavy HARDEST WAY TO MAKE AN EASY LIVING, which to its credit isn't a bad album. However, after reading about the hype in a number of magazines and online articles, the product was slightly disappointing. There are some genuine hits, though they might not be mainstream hits of U.S. hip-hop. It is difficult to get past the fact that Skinner has a very heavy British accent. However, tracks like "Pranging Out", "The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living", "Never Went To Church", and "All Goes Out The Window" are very good. Even tracks that are more filler material feature exceptional production, something that Skinner easily has above some of the producers in the U.S. The indie feel is something that more U.S. artist should explore. However, there are missteps here. There are a few corny lines, such as the "cigarettes before matches line" in "War of The Sexes", which all in all isn't bad. Also, some of the songs come over as unrelatable and uninspired and grow rather boring. Even at its best, occasionally the constantly looped production does grow a bit monotonous. What is important to understand here though is that Skinner is very different from U.S. hip hop and that is always a refreshment to see somebody who has a different twists on things. I was hoping this album would've been slightly better, but I still liked the things that Skinner was doing.