- Alright, so I’m an American. So I come from the land that crapped out Britney Spears, The Backstreet Boys, and Nysnc. Not our highest musical moment, but remember, underground House music originated from here too! So did Nirvana, The Beastie Boys, and Danny Tenaglia, but innovation have not been felt in the mainstream community for some time now; radio force-feeds you what records you’re suppose to like. They tell you who are hot and whose going to be the next big thing. Unfortunately, radio’s usually (what I really mean is always) wrong. So when the UK blessed us with an introduction from Mike Skinner, the mastermind that is The Streets, I didn’t know what to think of it. Everyone described him as the UK’s answer to Eminem and for a generalization…yes you can say that he is in one form. A street poet that can articulate a story and an idea with just a bear wit and a mic in hand, but other than that, Mike Skinner is no Eminem – Marshall Mathers is Eminem and Mike Skinner is The Streets.
The concept of telling a story in the genre is all but dead. A second coming in Hip-Hop has been in the wings ever since Eminem jumped into the scene, but he alone could not revive the dying breed that Hip-Hop has been the last 6 yeas. Hip-Hop has been Hip-Pop; a blending of catchy rhymes over beats with no substance. That’s why when “Original Pirate Material” was released in the spring of 2001, The Streets slapped some booty back into credibility. Sure most of us in the States didn’t understand the lingo, but you didn’t need to. You knew the idea he was trying to convey within the 90 seconds he was speaking and you either got it or you didn’t. I sure did and since then, I have been waiting for the sequel that would continue the brilliance where “Original Pirate Material” left off. So nearly 3 years have pass and now it has come. The second long-player is in and The Streets learn that “A Grand Don’t Come for Free.”
Inside the new endeavor, The Streets steps it up on 2 beats with an authentic telling of the many lives of men and women in the current state of life in the world within 70 minutes in one continuous narrative. Will you follow Mike through a world of triumphs, lost, and conflicts? The Streets narrative of the mundane life of a day not going your way to the bitterness of the lights blinding you can be understood by everyone. Everyone’s been there and everyone is still there. Life sucks at times, and when it does, listen to this album.
I could describe the style of the tracks, but you really wouldn’t understand unless you listen to the album full way. It’s like any movie you go watch. Before you watch, you want to know a bit about the film, but not enough to spoil you with what happens. So know that your getting a story, that’s what you get, but not one with pictures or words on a piece of paper – just a voice telling you how it began, how it continued, and how it ended. Although the concept is not new, no one has been able to tell a story like this for some time. A vocal story without pictures; Mike Skinner lets you fill in those visions yourself.
This boy still has no real flow, but it’s his ability to be a voice from every misunderstood young adult to the forgotten children of the streets that have catapulted him to fame. Although not on par with “Original Pirate Material” in the couplets, the record is as funny and as honest as you could expect. Congrats, I do believe Hip-Hop has once again become a genre that can push artist expression and importance within the youth of the world. More real than any other musical artist in his time currently, The Streets is igniting the sounds of Garage once again in the mainstream.
01. It Was Supposed to Be So Easy
02. Could Well Be In
03. Not Addicted
04. Blinded by the Light
05. I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way
06. Get Out of My House
07. Fit But You Know It
08. Such a Twat
09. What Is He Thinking?
10. Dry Your Eyes
11. Empty Cans