Two decades on from the genesis of Mike Skinner’s genre-mashing The Streets project, his home turf of UK garage and grime is going through a sustained revival, and the maverick Birmingham MC himself has returned to the main stage with relevant, drill-influenced new material on the recent None Of Us Are Getting Out Of This Life Alive mixtape. The best The Streets songs have soundtracked the early 21st century, and these 20 reveal just how he brought a new voice to UK hip-hop.
Listen to the best of The Streets here, and check out our best Streets songs, below.
20: Turn The Page (from ‘Original Pirate Material’, 2002)
The opening track from The Streets’ debut album, Original Pirate Material, Turn The Page sees Skinner coming over the horizon like a Wild West sheriff, riding dripping-tap-like garage beats reminiscent of El-B (later to become familiar in the hands of Burial) while proto-grime string strokes colour his approach. The results turned the page on contemporary music and raised goosebumps along the way, Skinner confidently asserting, “You rain down curses, but I’m waving your hearses driving by.”