Released March 25, 2002 the debut album by English rapper Mike Skinner (AKA The Streets) has a unique take on ’90s UKG*. Skinner is considered one of the greatest UK rappers of all-time as his style is pontificating rather than traditional rapping. The album was hailed by critics lauding it with accolades.
Jason: Oi! Are you ready to chat about The Streets ya geezer? Oi!
Brad: Oi! I am, mate. [I’m not very good at accents though.]
Jason: Not even in typing? Remember when this first came out and we listened to it a lot. I haven’t really listened to it at all since then.
Brad: Yes! If I had done a best of list back in 2002, this album would have been near the top.
Jason: Would you put it in the top of your decade now?
Brad: Not sure. Now listening to it 17 years later, I don’t love it as much. It has some really good moments though.
Jason: I am the same way. It’s a little annoying at times but I like the orchestrations. I also still like “Don’t Mug Yourself.”
Brad: Yeah, some songs like “Has It Come to This?” don’t hold up that well. I still like “Don’t Mug Yourself” too.
Jason: Did you know Skinner recorded this at home in a closet on laptop? That’s pretty impressive for a debut album. Oi!
Brad: That is impressive.
Jason: You have seen him in concert. Do you remember it well?
Brad: I think I saw him at Metro but I don’t remember that much about it which is rare for me.
Jason: Because everyone else was 19 and on drugs and you blanked it out. Skinner’s “rap” style is more like telling a story over repetitive beats. It’s unique but odd.
Brad: I remember really liking his rap style at the time. I love that he does not tone down his accent or try to sound like an American rapper
Jason: Fockin’ ‘ell yeah, boi. Everyfing is all Bri’ish chav speak. Oi.
Brad: It reminds me a little of Blur’s Parklife.
Jason: I can see that. When I re-listened to Original Pirate Material, I thought “Ugh. this doesn’t hold up well” but then after a few listens I appreciated it more. Although, I still feel it’s a bit irritating with him just talking and not singing or even rapping.
Brad: Yeah, I felt the same when I first listened to it again. One song I love is Sharp Darts.
Jason: It’s catchy. “Do you understand or do you need an interpreter?” I am surprised this album is even on this list.
Brad: I was too but I’m thinking the scratch off poster must be made my a British company?This was a much bigger hit in the UK.
Jason: Are you interested in listening to his newer stuff?
Brad: Not really. Which is strange for me. I listened to the album after this one but then I sorta lost interest.
Jason: I did too. He took a big break from 2011-2017 and even then only released 2 internet only singles as The Streets. He has some other side projects but I am not really interested in them.
Brad: It is weird when you love an artist for a moment or two but then you just lose interest over time. Kinda like the Spin Doctors.
Jason: Or Gin Blossoms both of which I am sure Skinner would love to have his career compared too. What grade do you give Original Pirate Material?
Brad: In 2002 I would have given it an A but in 2019 I give it a B-
Jason: Hold it down boy, your heads gettin’ blurred! Some of the beats are still pretty catchy but I give it a C+ and I don’t need to ever listen to it again.
Jason: Oi! Oi! Oi! Oi!
*UK Garage, a genre of electronic music which combines R&B, house, jungle and dance-pop.
Below is the scratch-off artwork from the 100 Bucket List poster.