Mike Skinner, the musical mastermind behind The Streets, once again melds hip-hop, dub, ska, UK garage beats, and his unique rhyme style to deliver a sound like nothing else. Instead of the snapshot imagery of the last album, "Original Pirate Material", "A Grand..." is one continuous narrative, following Skinner through a day of victories, defeats, and battles.
With beats that mix hip-hop, R&B, and UK garage, A Grand Don't Come For Free
, like its impressive predecessor Original Pirate Material
(2002), transforms the everyday and the mundane into the terms of an epic. British rapper Mike Skinner captures the simple details of a simple existence that inhabits the lower levels of the middle class. But whereas Original Pirate Material
was more about everyday life on the streets, this follow-up is more about everyday life in the flat--mom's kitchen, my mate's living room, my girl's couch. The Streets has fallen in love, and his raps narrate the adventures and misadventures of this romance. In all, it is a concept album that places greater emphasis on storytelling rather than on the music, which is often spare with little or no enhancements. With some songs expressing the beauty of love and others expressing the pleasures of drugs, the Streets is still holding it down for the UK. --Charles Mudede