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The Streets (UK)

Mike Skinner's recordings as the Streets marked the first attempt to add a degree of social commentary to Britain's party-hearty garage/2-step (and later grime) movement. Skinner, a Birmingham native who later ventured to the capital, was an outsider in the garage scene, though his initial recordings appeared on Locked On, the premiere source for speed garage and, later, 2-step from 1998 to the end of the millennium. He spent time growing up in North London as well as Birmingham, and listened first to hip-hop, then house and jungle. Skinner made his first tracks at the age of 15, and during the late '90s, tried to start a label and sent off his own tracks while he worked dead-end jobs in fast food.

At the end of 2000, he earned his first release when Locked On -- already famous for a succession of burning club tracks from Tuff Jam, the Artful Dodger featuring Craig David, Dem 2, and Doolally -- signed him for the homemade "Has It Come to This?" By the following year, the single hit Britain's Top 20 and the inevitable full-length followed in early 2002. That album, Original Pirate Material, unlike most garage compilations and even the bare few production LPs, found a home with widely varying audiences, and correspondingly earned Skinner a bit of enmity from the wider garage community. By the end of the year, it had been released in the States as well, through Vice.

After a quiet 2003, Skinner returned with A Grand Don't Come for Free, a concept record that pushed his production and performance eccentricities to a new level, but also resulted in a fresh wave of critical praise. A succession of live dates followed, after which Skinner began recording his third full-length, 2006's The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living, which shone a bright light on the vagaries of fame as Skinner had experienced it. Everything Is Borrowed followed in 2008, but charted a far different course, including optimistic and quite philosophical material. Reviews were positive, and it hit the Top Ten in the U.K.

Skinner soon began discussing the next Streets record, which he described as dark and futuristic. Released early in 2011, Computers and Blues matched his fiery delivery and songwriting with a banging production approach that harked well back to the Original Pirate Material days. ~ John Bush, Rovi
full bio

Comments

altetly
Yeah swoop
the streets plan b katy b. lady dynamite are all great brit mcs u should give them a chance instead of the same american rap bs same story different beat or coast
Has music come to this?
kelnbz3
xx...*
british rappers > the music we call rap in America
Lee Fischer love they sing for Jesus! Love their accents!!!!! ! ;) still tryin to concentrate
Wish Skinner would bring back The Streets. Not really feeling the sound of "The D.O.T." but its better than no new tracks coming out of "The Beats" labs. The sound of "The Streets" will be missed from this side of the pond!
Top Gear!
Love it, ya?!
MURS is another that is similar. Geeky, a bit revolutionar y scene wise. MURS is more political for sure, but similar spirits and attitudes.
I love that the similar artists are just a collection of slightly conscientiou s white rappers. lol What about Lupe Fiasco? He's more similar than Atmosphere. Hip hop's still full a bull with too few exceptions. Mike is most definitely one such exception. Everything is Borrowed . Holy crap what a song. His Albums together tell an intriguing coming of age story that folks miss by skipping to the hits. Trying listening to it from beginning to most recent. Wonderful.
i have been addicted to the streets for years i live them i love them
anything else good like this outa the uk that i should add? i like the accent...
lastsane1
We played this in the back kitchen from 2002 to the bar now.
First comment of the year.
andy821004
'y bird might f**k off...
christo746
Weak Become Heros is a tune on Original Pirate Material man. Dope tune at that...but go ahead talk s$%t.
This is what you'd get if you gave Wesley Willis a British accent.
f**k the weak. The only thing the weak become are dead.
you mean the streets is raw you f**kin idiot. He's just one person.
Weak Become Heroes.
The Streets are RAW
gtolmie
luv it
rgfinservice s
Everything is borrowed track 2 is sounds like a wack musical other than that I vibe it.
first 2 albums...eac h among the best 25 albums of the entire decade to this point.
the next 2 albums...um, not so much.
I think that we should all just try and stay positive.
The new album he has out, "Everything is Borrowed" shows the next step in a maturation process. Deep and thoughtful lyrics found in "Edge of a Cliff" and "Everything is Borrowed" exemplify the musical transition this innovative artist has made.
wackycanuck
If you haven't checked out The Streets "A Grand Don't Come For Free" record, you should. Really cool concept album....
markforeal
this jams ok. i've never been a huge streets fan but some some of his tracks hit home.
my favorite comming out of the uk
this guy's productions are insane, his vocals are ok, his singing is sappy, overall, if he keeps doing what he was doing in Original Pirate Material, he'll always be in my playlists and inspirations !

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