Streets Smart


PUB LIFE: Skinner strikes a pensive pose in his natural habitat

As generations of rebel musicians have learned, becoming the voice of stoned, lazy, disengaged youth requires a lot of hard work. Take Mike Skinner, the latest Voice of a Generation, British division. Known as The Streets when he's making music, Skinner, 24, is remarkably industrious. He started work on his second album as soon as he finished the first: Original Pirate Material, an effortless mix of U.K. garage, hip-hop and dance beats that burst Skinner out of his bedroom two years ago, sold more than a million copies worldwide, made the U.S. Top 30 and moved Rolling Stone to declare "British...

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