BioWhen "Has It Come To This," the first vinyl offering from The Streets, started to make it's way onto the airwaves in the Summer of 2000, Mike Skinner was a 22 year old rap obsessed kid from Birmingham in the English Midlands who'd spent the past 15 years working toward that moment.
One of the turning points in Skinners development was the onset of UK Garage, the first identifiably British strand of rap music. This helped to focus Skinner towards a sound and style of his own. Mixing his hip-hop influences with UK Garage sounds, Skinner realized that if there was something lacking in UK hip-hop it was someone who talked about British culture.
Skinner's first move was to relocate to London. He decided on the name The Streets because it "sounded good" and pressed up 200 white label vinyl copies of his first offering "Has It Come To This." The Streets' debut album Original Pirate Material was released in the UK in March 2002 and later in the US in October 2003. The reception for the record was phenomenal across the board. The press reaction was unanimous, proclaiming the album as a generational classic, radio played the singles and nearly a million worldwide sales later, it's firmly established as one of the most important and innovative albums of recent times.
Over the past two years, Skinner has toured the world with his band, avoided a plethora of award ceremonies (nominated for Brit awards, The Mercury Prize, The Shortlist Award and winning an Ivor Novello songwriting award for Best Contemporary Song) and found critical acclaim not only in the UK, but in Europe, South East Asia and most notably in the US where he became the first UK rapper to make any serious impact.