The Steet’s groundbreaking debut album ‘Original Pirate Material’ is celebrating its 22nd anniversary, originally released on March 25, 2002. The album received widespread critical acclaim, with many reviewers praising the creativity and humour of Skinner’s lyrics, with many naming it among the best albums of the 2000s.

Original Pirate Material was recorded primarily in a room in a south London house rented at the time by principal member Mike Skinner, is musically influenced by UK garage and American hip hop, while its lyrics depict British working-class life. The seminal album helped change UK electronic music forever.

The album debuted at number 12 on the UK Albums Chart in 2002 before peaking at number 10 in 2004 following the release of the chart-topping second Streets album, ‘A Grand Don’t Come for Free’. It re-entered numerous charts in April 2022, after being reissued for Record Store Day.

The Street’s debut has had a significant impact on modern British music and society, with echoes of hip-hop, garage, and underground sounds coursing through the LP. The album helped to propel grime to the forefront of the UK music scene and electrified UK hip-hop culture. Skinner’s stunningly romantic and cutthroat portrayal of real-life working-class UK culture has helped define the direction of future generations of musicians.

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