Streets, The – “Original Pirate Material” – [Vice Records]
Mike Skinner’s 2002 debut album “Original Pirate Material” was really a unique recording when it was released, and achieved a great deal of success. Skinner came from the UK garage and jungle scene of the 90s, and the album is a reflection of, and unique take on garage and 2step mixed with his own style of mc-ing. Although heavily influenced by Wu Tang Clan and Nas, Skinner’s take on rhyming was more focused on everyday life. Fighting, drinking, drugs, potential and lost love, nostalgia of the innocence of early rave experiences in London… I wish I had paid more attention to this when it came out, but I was too involved in jungle to recognize anything under 170 BPM. “Original Pirate Material” is a fantastic album, deeply emotional and charged with the impetuousness of youth. Just wonderful.