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CD Review – The Streets “Original Pirate Material”

The Streets
Original Pirate Material

For the most part we, The Oracle music staffers, know good music when we hear it.

So when The Streets’ debut album, consisting of a single British MC/DJ, Mike Skinner, came out in the middle of last year, this staffer heard some of the praise and decided to give Original Pirate Material a spin.

After listening to a few songs worth of white-boy spoken word backed by UK garage beats, it was evident that this limey, faux hip-hopper was trash. That couldn’t have been farther from the truth

This album requires at least a half-dozen listens before the true brilliance can ooze into your ears. Before you know it, Skinner’s infectious yarns about geezers getting “pissed” and mounds of other everyday British references will be dancing in your head day and night.

Skinner sounds like no other artist — ever. He spits lyrics that are more rhythmically spirited than spoken words, yet less fluid than typical rap. This enigmatic lyrical foundation, combined with Skinners’ innovative garage-dance beats, make for a handful of songs fresher and smarter than anything hip hop has seen in a while. Not to mention anything UK hip hop has seen, well, in its history.

The tune “Sharp Darts” catches Skinner lyrically reveling in the wonder of his creation against the looped beat of a cartooney drum-machine avalanche, “Make your analysis/ Ever heard a beat like this?/ I walk the beat like a policeman/ No karma pedestrian/ In 500 years they’ll play this song in museums.”

Never mind the bollocks, here’s The Streets.

Contact Nick Margiasso at