When it comes to music I know there are genres out there that I’ve not taken the time to listen to.
I’ll leave out my usual rant about how there are too many genres and sub-genres out there which I sometimes feel is done just to confuse the hell out of me. Oh who am I kidding? Of course I know record producers are not sitting there doing bumps of coke and hitting the bong thinking, How can we fuck with Mr Omneo today? Oh I know we’ll invent a genre called Black Metal and see how long he takes to realise it’s just that Thrash Metal shit he doesn’t like. Or maybe they do? I dunno…
Anyway, the other week I got an email suggesting I have a listen to an e.p. of a Mancunian Grime artist who goes by the name Skittles. Now, when I hear the word grime I think of dirt and when I hear the word Skittles I think of brightly coloured sugary treats. Grime+Skittles= Bright and dirty sugary treats? Hmm I wondered, is this someone fucking with me again? I read on and was told to imagine Frank Skinner and scroobius pip but more urban. Whereas I might have hit delete I instead hit download. My curiosity was well and truly piqued!
So what can I tell you about Skittles? Well, he was born into this world in 1986 under the moniker of Liam Kelly and was diagnosed as suffering from ADHD at the age of 11. In 2007 he released an album called 2 Pints of Brandy and a Packet of Skittles, a heady concoction if ever there was one and in 2009 he featured in a Nokia Marketing viral campaign advertising their Nokia 5310 handsets, writing and performing a purpose made tune titled ‘Comes with Music’ and Skittles and Ed Lilly (Director from Blind Aura Pictures) were commissioned by Manchester Youth Offending Services to write and produce the Councils new anti-knife crime film ‘ManHunt’ and Eminem’s DJ, Green Lantern, described him as The English Slim. So it’s safe to say the guy has some talent.
Back to the e.p. which is a sampler from his soon to be released second album, with a title I love, Poor with £100 Trainers. There are 4 tracks and all four are pretty good, so much so I didn’t notice that I had listened to it 5 times on repeat the first time I gave it a whirl. The tunes, for want of a better word, are catchy and the lyrics combine humour with seriousness. Despite being a free download I thought I’d embed 2 of the tracks, Boys in Blue and Suicide Bombers, for you to have a listen to as I know some of you won’t bother clicking on another link to download them, it’s okay, we can all be a little lazy at times!
You’ll notice that the Suicide Bombers track has a sample from a Billy Connolly stand-up routine near the end, when I heard it I had a real belly ache laugh and I say that as someone who is not a huge fan of Billy’s recent material but I had to go seek out the full clip on YouTube which you might enjoy as well, perhaps not if you’re easily offended tho.
You’ll find Skittles website at www.oneguycalledskittles.com and the e.p. can be downloaded free from http://shop.oneguycalledskittles.com if you enjoyed the 2 clips here you’ll enjoy the other two and I dare say you’ll enjoy the album when it comes out later this year.
I should also mention a great website, Example Magazine, which will keep you informed on the musical, social and creative culture in Manchester, one of the most vibrant in England. (Nobody tell the Scousers I said that!)