Tag Archives: SkinnyMan

New Joint – K*Ners / Skinnyman

K*Ners ft. Skinnyman – “Ya Fool” (KNers.BandCamp.Com / 2022)

Bristol’s K*Ners links with the legendary Skinnyman on this rowdy 6th Floor-produced track packed with lively lyricism.

New Joint – TrueMendous / Skinnyman

TrueMendous ft. Skinnyman – “Yourself Or The World?” (@HighFocusUK / 2022)

Birmingham’s magnetic TrueMendous pairs her inimitable flow with the charismatic delivery of UK Hip-Hop icon Skinnyman on this brilliant Illinformed-produced single off the upcoming album “Great. On Purpose”.

New Joint – Blacksmith / Skinnyman

Blacksmith ft. Skinnyman – “Price Of Love” (@_Blacksmith / 2022)

Bristol’s Blacksmith trades contemplative rhymes with UK legend Skinnyman over piano-laced production from Statik Selektah on this latest single.

New Joint – Fliptrix / Skinnyman

Fliptrix ft. Skinnyman – “Thriller” (@HighFocusUK / 2019)

One of the many standout cuts from Fliptrix’s 2018 album “INEXHALE” and featuring an adrenaline rush of a guest verse from the irrepressible legend Skinnyman, this Joe Corfield-produced sureshot is a perfect example of two talented emcees bridging the Hip-Hop generation gap.


Album Review – Fliptrix

inexhale cover



(High Focus Records)

One of the greatest pleasures as a fan of music is to see and hear an artist you’ve followed since the beginning of their career truly grow with each release. That doesn’t mean changing a signature style or offering a completely different sound each time said artist drops a new project, instead I’m referring to the growth that occurs when an artist is able to expand their creative boundaries with confidence, having honed their craft to a point of true mastery and expertise.

London-born, Brighton-based emcee Fliptrix is an individual whom all of the above applies to.

Having dropped his debut album “Force Fed Imagery” in 2007, the past decade has seen the talented wordsmith deliver a massive seven solo albums (including this latest full-length effort), whilst also recording two projects as a member of the mighty Four Owls collective alongside Leaf Dog, Verb T and BVA.

All of which would be impressive enough, yet when you also take into consideration the fact that, artistic endeavours aside, Fliptrix has worked tirelessly to build the High Focus label he established back in 2010 into a true independent powerhouse with a dedicated fanbase (helping to provide an outlet for artists such as Dabbla, Ocean Wisdom and Strange U), it becomes clear that his passion for music runs extremely deep.

It may not seem that long ago since Fliptrix was considered a new voice within the UK Hip-Hop scene, but on “INEXHALE” the emcee who was once a student has now become a master.

Fliptrix is a lyricist’s lyricist. A writer’s writer. It’s been evident throughout his career that this microphone fiend has a real love for the process of piecing words together, meticulously crafting line after line, resulting in verses that are full of vivid imagery, life observations and, at times, esoteric thinking.

Fliptrix doesn’t make background music. His rhymes are written with the intention of the listener having to fully engage with them, demanding your complete attention so you can follow, understand and interpret what is being said as the emcee’s train of thought takes you on a lyrical journey from one point of reference to the next.

Possessing a tone, flow and delivery which is as effective puncturing holes in the egos of his competition as it is delivering commentary on aspects of the human experience, all facets of Fliptrix’s artistry are brought together brilliantly on “INEXHALE”, with the project giving a sincere nod of respect to UK Hip-Hop’s past whilst boldly striding forward into its future.

Backed by ambitious and skilfully delivered production from Chemo, Joe Corfield and Molotov, Fliptrix has selected an ideal array of soundscapes for “INEXHALE” over which to let his mind float.

The opening “Inhale” is an immediately captivating combination of swirling keys, wispy vocal samples and knocking drums courtesy of the always impressive Chemo, with Fliptrix commenting on today’s social media generation whilst recent High Focus signee Coops is on-hand to drop an intense, attention-grabbing guest verse.

The hypnotic “Flying” is a beautifully crafted slice of mind-expanding rap, with the weightless vibe of Chemo’s spacey synths and Carmody’s delicate vocals inspiring Fliptrix to have an out-of-body lyrical experience (“I’m levitating through wisdom to planes of escapism, From Great Britain to intergalactical states tripping…”).

“Bagging Up Music” is a boisterous blend of traditional punchline-laced rap and contemporary sonic flavours, whilst Molotov’s haunting, piano-laced production on “The Window” fits perfectly with Fliptrix’s plea for a unified world in which people see common ground rather than division (“Take visions to a limitless place, Go within find grace, You’re living by the colour of your skin? That’s waste, Or the place that you’re born, Or religion you’re in, You’re divided, Ain’t realised you’re united, See through the fabric of time like psychics, You are really God, It’s just that people trick you, Your spirit lives through…”).

Ocean Wisdom and Onoe Caponoe feature on the infectious “Inside The Ride”, a dope combination of double-time flows and off-kilter beats. The Joe Corfield-produced “Thriller” is another of the album’s impressive collaborations, with Fliptrix joined by inimitable UK Hip-Hop legend Skinnyman for a relentless display of rhyme power.

The closing “Exhale” finds Fliptrix acknowledging where he’s been on his journey and where he’s yet to go over a deep, mellow groove, making it clear that he is an artist who intends to continue living up to his potential (“It’s all manifestation, dedication, Every minute, every day, I’m always elevating…”).

Truth be told, there’s something therapeutic about listening to “INEXHALE”. The project resonates with a feeling, an energy, a vibration that does more than simply make your head-nod or inspire you to pick-out a few favourite quotables.

As dead prez once said, one thing ’bout music, when it hit you feel no pain, and Fliptrix is most definitely on target with his latest sonic opus.

Long may the man’s artistic travels continue.

Ryan Proctor

“INEXHALE” is available here.



#FRMX3 EP Download – Essa

essa cover

The UK emcee formerly known as Yungun drops the third in his freestyle / remix EP series featuring input from Mr. Thing, SkinnyMan and Inspectah Deck – download here.

Skooled By – SkinnyMan

Veteran UK emcee SkinnyMan drops a short verse for Rodney P’s “Skooled By” series on SBTV.

Time For Something New EP Sampler – Essa (a.k.a. Yungun)

The talented UK emcee makes a welcome return to the mic with his new EP “Time For Something New” featuring a variety of musical styles with input from Waajeed, SkinnyMan, Inspectah Deck and more – peep the sampler here.

Real Spittaz Do Real Thingz (Episode Two) – Mystro / Mr Ti2bs / Rodney P / SkinnyMan etc.

London’s Mysdiggi presents the second installment of his “Real Spittaz…” series featuring a host of UK legends.

New Joint – SkinnyMan

SkinnyMan – “Music Speaks Louder Than Words” (SkinnyMan.Co.UK / 2011) 

The Mud Fam general makes a welcome return to his Hip-Hop roots with this new video filmed and edited by Archangel.

New Joint – SkinnyMan / Deadly Hunta

SkinnyMan ft. Deadly Hunta – “Ballistic Affair” ( Pro 1 Music / 2008 )

Taken from the forthcoming compilation album “Food 4 Da Brain – Second Serving” which also features tracks from MCD, Terra Firma, Foreign Beggars, M9 etc.

SkinnyMan Interview (Originally Printed In Hip-Hop Connection 226 / UK Special Cover / September 2008)

 Photo: DarkDaze Photography

North London’s inimitable SkinnyMan has always played by his own rules when it comes to this game called UK hip-hop. Whether bursting into impromptu freestyle performances inside cramped record stores, jumping onstage unannounced at numerous jams, or speaking to the youth about walking a righteous path, the unofficial mayor of Dungeon Town has, throughout the years, shown himself to be an individual who always follows his heart and embraces life to the fullest.

After the 2004 release of his critically acclaimed debut album ‘Council Estate Of Mind’, many were no doubt expecting to see Skinny capitalise on the success of his poignant musical snapshot of inner-city Britain. However, the larger-than-life rapper, as always, had his own plans. Instead of rushing into the studio to record a second album to appease his newfound fans (‘Council Estate…’ received positive support from both mainstream radio and press), SkinnyMan instead chose to step out of the spotlight, with very little new music being heard from him in recent times, other than the odd cut such as the topical ‘Smoking Ban’ and a smattering of guest appearances.

HHC caught up with Finsbury’s finest to find out exactly how he’s been occupying his time since dropping a homegrown classic.

It’s been four years since the release of your ‘Council Estate Of Mind’ album. Is there a particular reason for the delay in you putting out a follow-up project?

“Yeah, I’ve simply been having too much fun (laughs)”

How would you define fun?

“Going out raving, linking up with my people, linking up with my gal, looking after my kids and walking the dog. I’ve just been having fun living.”

You had a massive buzz around the time of ‘Council Estate Of Mind’. In hindsight, did the album do better than you were expecting it to?

“It exceeded all my expectations by far. I didn’t think the album was going to get further than my local area. When I was putting the album together I was dealing with social issues that I saw plaguing my community, so I knew that people in my area would know what I was talking about as they were there going through the struggles as well. What I didn’t take into consideration was that there are communities throughout the country all suffering from the same social ills, such as single parenting, drugs, gun crime etc.

“Looking back on it now, at the time ‘Council Estate Of Mind’ came out I don’t really think there was anyone else out there acting as a voice for the frustrations of the youth and speaking on the social conditions they were living in. I think my album nailed it on the head and you could hear how passionate I was about the message in my music.

“Outside of my core audience, some of the flattery I received from highly-regarded critics in publications like NME and Q made me feel like, ‘Are they talking about me? I’m not worthy.’”

Recently you’ve been heavily promoting the WaterAid charity. How did you become involved in that?

“I’ve always been a great believer in charity and that was something I was first really made aware of by one of my heroes Sir Bob Geldof back when I was young and he was doing things like Live Aid. For a musician to put himself in a political position to enlighten Western society about the famines and plagues that were occurring in Third World countries, that was a massive thing to do. I did the whole Run The World thing when they organised that back in the day and I won’t tell you exactly where I came but it was good enough for me to get a medal and be up onstage shaking hands with LuLu, Cliff Richard and Bob Geldof. Let’s just say I’m a very good long distance runner. I’m like a white Cambodian (laughs).

“Seeing what was achieved through the power of music back then with Live Aid was something that really struck me. So when I started to achieve some success I looked at myself and thought ‘What am I doing to help?’ I started investigating different charities but I found flaws in all of them, mainly because of how much of the contributions actually go into the running of the charity instead of going to the people they’re supposed to be helping. But then God sent me in the right direction when I was at Glastonbury in 2004, and the reason why I believe it was a higher power that sent me to this particular charity is because James Brown was performing, and there was nothing more I wanted to see than the legend himself, the Godfather of Soul.

“As I was making my way to the stage, I came across this area with a big screen showing the work WaterAid were doing to help the children in Africa by giving them clean water. I just stood there looking at this screen and I must have watched it for about an hour. James Brown came on and went off and I didn’t move. I just thought, whatever money I’m getting can be sent straight to WaterAid because people around the world are really suffering. So I took the charity onboard as something that I wanted to push.

“It also made me realise that, with all of the problems the lower working class has to deal with here in the UK, we’re still blessed in many ways with things like the NHS, schools and pensions for the elderly. As much as we might think we’ve got it bad, we don’t have to deal with things like widespread starvation and malnutrition.

“So if anyone wants to come rob me for the money they think I’ve got, it’s already gone. What you gonna kill me for? My money’s been sent to those children across the world who need our help.”

Given your charity work, do you feel that people in the entertainment field have a responsibility to be role models and set a positive example?

“I believe it’s a personal choice that one has to make. I myself feel that I’ve been given the responsibility. I feel that even if you don’t think you’re a role model, you already are a role model because you’re in the spotlight and people will be looking up to you. Now whether you want to be a good role model or a bad role model is up to the individual. Personally, I’m motivated to make music so I can be a voice of the people and be someone that people can learn from, rather than doing it to obtain superstardom or for any other reason.”

Thanks in-part to the success of ‘Council Estate Of Mind’ you’re one of the few older UK hip-hop artists to also be embraced by the younger Channel U generation. Do you see any similarities between the hip-hop scene you came up in during the 90s and the grime scene of today?

“It’s the exact same energy. I remember, for example, when I used to hear Onyx ‘Slam’ and as soon as I heard the opening bars of that riddim my face would be screwing up and I’d have a big vein on my forehead. The music just gave me that feeling and that’s exactly what these kids are doing at the moment with grime. I feel the exact same energy from these grime kids today as I used to get from the hip-hop scene back then. It’s the same thing and I really can’t find a difference between the two. I love it and it’s a beautiful evolution.”

So is there a new SkinnyMan album forthcoming?

“Yes, there’s definitely something in the pipeline that’s under construction for presentation next year. The next album is going to have a wider political view that’ll be going for the jugular of the United Nations. I’m definitely going to be in a radical, revolutionary mind state on this one. Just like ‘Council Estate Of Mind’ the title will be a play on words, with the album being called ‘World Of Fairs’, so when you say it out-loud it’ll sound like world affairs.

“The cover art I have in mind will depict the United Nations leaders riding around the globe on a carousel. The concept of the album will be based around how we view the idea of freedom and what freedom means in the present day with new laws and legislations being passed regularly which contribute to us living in a controlled society.

“Whereas ‘Council Estate Of Mind’ was dealing with issues I was seeing in my immediate surroundings, the new album will be dealing with bigger subject matter on a world scale.”

Who are you planning to work with on the new album?

“I’m probably going to oversee the production myself, but as far as featured artists are concerned, I would love to be able to work with Chuck D and dead prez and also reach out to someone like Shabazz The Disciple. Plus, I’ve always wanted to work with Morgan Heritage and Louie Culture, although right now that’s a dream that’s far from reality, but you never know.

“In the meantime, I’m going to be releasing the ‘Smoking Ban EP’, which is going to contain material that I felt didn’t suit ‘Council Estate Of Mind’ and that wouldn’t suit the new album either. It’s still material that I believe my fans will appreciate, so why not give it to them. The EP will have about ten or twelve tracks on there like ‘Warrior’s Chant’, ’Lady Heroin’ and, of course, ‘Smoking Ban’. It’s gonna be a lot. I’m also doing an EP with MC Trip called ‘Horrorcore’ and we’re going to be spitting some grimy lyrics over acid house.”

Acid house? Really?

“Yeah. I even want to sample Shut Up & Dance. We’re going to be on some hip-house vibe like Doug Lazy and Fast Eddie (laughs). My music will be going in all directions from now on as I don’t have to stay focused on establishing myself as a hip-hop artist anymore because I’ve done that now.

“Back in the day when jungle was blowing up and you had emcees like Navigator and Creed, I was thinking ‘I can do this, but it means I’ll buss as a junglist emcee’ and I didn’t want to do that. I’d go to raves and people like General Levy would be like, ‘Skinny, jump up on the set!’ I’d jump up, kill it and he’d say ‘Are you coming to the next dance?’ and I’d be like ‘Nah, blood’ and people would say ’Why not? You’re killing it on jungle.’ I’d be like, ‘Exactly! People will be saying that Skinny’s a jungle emcee when I’m a hip-hop rapper.’

“I had to bite my tongue in nuff dances when I wanted to jump on the mic because I knew I’d be labelled as a jungle emcee and it was very important to me to come up under hip-hop. But now that I’ve done that I feel like I can branch out and do anything I want because I’ve already got the backpackers with me.”

Any parting words for the people?

“I want to encourage everyone to make a donation of any kind to http://www.wateraid.org and I also want to say sorry that there’s been such a long gap in my creativity since ‘Council Estate Of Mind’, but the fire is burning strong once again.”

Ryan Proctor

Mud On Road – SkinnyMan

Footage of the inimitable SkinnyMan performing in Glasgow as part of the Urban Opera Tour.

Life In My Rhymes – SkinnyMan

Mud Fam OG SkinnyMan freestyling for Cypher TV at last month’s People’s Army event in Brixton, London.