But that was very much then – today Skinner, 38, is gainfully employed running a record label, curating a club night and writing a movie script.
His trademark humour and lighthearted lyrics perfectly encapsulate the fun and upbeat energy of the Swing-inspired instrumentals over which he raps, resulting in a truly original and feel good sound.
A regular fixture at Electro Swing and Hip Hop events up and down the country, Offbeat has supported some of the biggest names in both scenes including The Correspondents, Slamboree, Electric Swing Circus, Dutty Moonshine, Dr Syntax, Dead Players and Professor Elemental to name a few.
In the mid-1990s, following secondary education at Bournville School, Skinner became a student at Sutton Coldfield College, in Sutton Coldfield, and was working in fast-food jobs while trying to start his own independent record label and sending off demos. Skinner attributes the turnaround of his lifestyle, in regards to his dabbling with drugs, to the birth of his daughter and the responsibility of being a father.
He describes his background as "Barratt class: suburban estates, not poor but not much money about, really boring," referring to the property developer Barratt Developments. In 2005, Skinner and Ted Mayhem launched the independent record label The Beats Recordings. Harvey performs on vocals, allowing Skinner to "further develop his production approach". In 2013, Skinner remixed Norwich rapper Context's song "Small Town Lad Sentiments".
In 2016 Skinner released a number of tracks on Soundclound under the name The Darker the Shadow, The Brighter the Light.
In April 2017 he released the song "Bad Decisions In The Night" on digital platforms.Slice-of-life look at a sweet working-class couple in London, Shirley and Cyril, his mother, who's aging quickly and becoming forgetful, mum's ghastly upper-middle-class neighbors, and ...See full summary » Johnny flees Manchester for London, to avoid a beating from the family of a girl he has raped.With 4 EP’s under his belt, a remix EP currently in production by an established record label and several high profile collaborations in the pipeline, the future looks bright for this exciting and promising artist.Don't worry, Kylie Minogue isn't starting beef with Sir Tom Jones – this fight is purely between former friends.Some of the many hip hop artists that influenced him in the making of some of The Streets' albums are Premo and Erick Sermon.