The Streets were a British hip hop and UK Garage project from Birmingham, England, led by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Mike Skinner and has included myriad other contributors, most notably drummer Johnny Drum Machine, vocalist Kevin Mark Trail and the Italian-American beatmaker Leroy.
The project has released five studio albums: Original Pirate Material (2002), A Grand Don't Come for Free (2004), The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living (2006), Everything Is Borrowed (2008), and Computers and Blues (2011) and a string of successful singles in the mid-2000s, including "Has It Come to This?", "Dry Your Eyes", "When You Wasn't Famous" and "Prangin' Out".
The Streets started out in 1994 as a group project with Johnny Drum Machine and Kevin Mark Trail. Skinner moved from Birmingham to Brixton to pursue his recording career, he then moved to Camden Town for three years before returning to Brixton. While working on music, he tried to start a record label as well as working in fast food restaurants, in order to support himself.
In 2001, the Locked On label, who had success with The Artful Dodger featuring Craig David, released "Has It Come to This?" under the name The Streets. "Has It Come to This?" proved to be a breakthrough hit for The Streets, reaching number 18 on the UK charts in October 2001.
For The Streets' debut album, Original Pirate Material, Skinner wanted to take UK garage in a new direction with material reflecting the lifestyle of clubbers in Britain. The track "Let's Push Things Forward" reflects the philosophy of the album. The album was released and proved to be successful both with critics and the general public alike. In the UK, the album was nominated for the Mercury Prize and was favourite with the bookies to win it (it was later won by Ms. Dynamite).
The Streets was nominated for best album, best urban act, best breakthrough artist and best British male artist in the 2002 BRIT Awards. The NME named it as one of their top five albums of 2002. The cover image is Towering Inferno by the acclaimed photographer Rut Blees Luxemburg. Subsequent singles from that album included "Don't Mug Yourself", "Weak Become Heroes" and "Let's Push Things Forward" which all reached the top forty in the UK. Many of his songs have a UK garage feel. Original Pirate Material had debuted and peaked at number twelve in the UK album charts, and would not reach any higher until his next album was released. Wide ThumbClearartFanart Banner User Comments