The Streets – Original Pirate Material

The StreetsOriginal Pirate Material (Vice)

Original Pirate Material, the debut from The Streets (aka Birmingham’s Mike Skinner), is an ambitious story-cycle with musical influences as disparate as the urban UK culture described in Pirate‘s songs. Rapping over skittering two-step and next-generation big beat grooves, Skinner presents his Everykid – the Geezer – as a smart, cynical lout who likes drinking beer, pounding fast food, and hitting up the PS2. Rapping in his unadorned commoner’s speech, Skinner emulates the offhanded, yet serious as a heart-attack, flow of a Mos Def or Jeru the Damaja. The beats are occasionally a bit flat, but Pirate is never, ever boring. It’s especially interesting to listen to as a document of urban life in the UK, and how the same trends and marketing that have come to dominate American youth culture aren’t that much different across the pond. Skinner’s main character always seems to keep one eye on the people that are trying to influence he and his mates, while the other is eyeing the latest Playstation game or the Man U highlights on Sky Sports. Original Pirate Material – an interesting hip-hop document that also rocks the house.

16 thoughts on “The Streets – Original Pirate Material”

  1. I’m actually quite suprised ‘Original Pirate Material’ has reached American shores. The album is top quality definitely pushing things forward. Heard a number of tracks before release and finally got hold of the album at release date here in the UK. Mike Skinner has the skills, I hope America and the rest of the world realise that too.

  2. I just bought this disc and it is bomb ass. It reminds me a great deal of the specials aka. I think skinner is brilliant. lines such as “over here we call ’em birds not bitches”—great! I don’t know if it will catch on over here in the states…but I don’t think Skinner is a flash in the pan.

  3. Just picked up my copy after hearing the profile on America’s NPR. If talent like this was more widespread, Western music wouldn’t be the wasteland it is today. This is fantastic stuff.

  4. I am a mid 30’s union official from Queensland, Australia. I am probably t5he last person you would expect to be hyping a Streets album – but I am. (the album reference is probably a give away to my lack of hip style – cest la vie!).

    This work is shit hot – absolutely awesome. Skinner is a talent without equal, and this recording will resonate with anyone who has been brought up post Billy Joel.

    Skinner is the Man!

  5. I think Mike is brilliant and don’t think I’ll ever tire of this album. Living in Texas, I think I’m one of few who actually know or listen to The Streets. Yet everyone who gets in my car can’t help but be surrounded by the beats of Mike Skinner. I only wish they were touring The States soon…

  6. the streets rule the lyrics and tunes r fantastic i dnt fink i cud live wivowt them! wud love 2c mikes original sound live he is the daddy!!!!!!!!

  7. Great stuff!!! I played ps2 two weeks ago late at night and listened to mtv ,because of my friends, normally its jungle drum and bass then we heard pushing things forward .I just had to interrupt our playing to plug the tv-receiver into the tv to find out what great brain makes this stuff .The next morning i got up early and bought this record since then i love it almoust a bit more than kosheen (also fantastic)!Please come to germany (mannheim)Mike Skinner !!!

  8. The Streets are amazing and Mike Skinner is a lyrical genius. I first heard them about a year ago but never actually began to listen to pirate for a while because in the states know one knew who the hell im talking about when i tried to find out about the album. Im trying desperately to install it in everyday American pop culture, especially with high school kids like myself and will keep trying until i succeed becuase everyone should listen to the streets-its a revolution

  9. this is the best album of the year i am 15 and i played it to my dad who is 43yr and he also thinks it is the best album of the year the whole album jus remindsme of london

  10. I can’t even explain how fantastic this album is. But I’ll try anyways. Not since I first heard Massive Attack over a decade ago have I experienced anything as fresh as this. Skinner’s lyrics, delivery, and composition are topshelf! In my opinion, Let’s Push Things Foward is only the 7th best track on the cd.

  11. To Techno, Great Lyrics , New Sound , makes you think :) Still I wouldnt buy it, just burn your friends copy, what a bunch of wankers.

  12. The Streets ….. its just raw and real. I saw the music video to The Irony Of It All over christmas and I was hooked. Being from north england, hearing vocals (sounding from laandan) the life and times of Mike Skinner are so raw, if they were a vegetable, they’d be hard to hard to chew. Class tracks …. class cd. Highly recommended

  13. unbelieveable! pure poetry! what a desription of his life, and london. extremely talented master of the language, and slang, yet meaningful

  14. this album is amazing as nothing like this has been done before. most garage rap is about bling and bitches but this different .its about real life that ordinary people can relate to. the stuff he raps about is all around us and happens to us everyday. drugs,beer,sex,playstations and vauxhall nova sr’s ahhahahahhahah i seriously pitty anyone who has a nova sr!

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