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The Streets' Mike Skinner Gives a History Lesson on Skinheads for Dr. Martens

If the Streets' Mike Skinner ever wanted to leave music behind, he could easily have a second career as a history teacher.
September 5, 2014, 4:16pm

If the Streets' Mike Skinner ever wanted to leave music behind, he could easily have a second career as a history teacher. Not only could he lecture about the rise and decline of UK garage, Skinner would be just as interesting when talking about the evolution of British music within the past century—or so it seems from a new video he created and narrated for Dr. Martens. In "Spirit of '69," he shows his professorial side, detailing the post-war, post-Swinging London, late 60s comedown in Britain that led to the formation of skinhead culture. The history lesson, fittingly soundtracked by Desmond Dekker's "It Mek," tells of the early skinheads taking influence from rude boys aka West Jamaican immigrants and wearing their boots up high. "For a little while there was a common unruliness," Skinner says, "They are the last genuinely misunderstood post-war subculture. They're the first to actually influence the sound of British black music. They're still influencing kids today." Watch the collage-like film below.