The Streets

Mike Skinner's recordings as the Streets marked the first attempt to add a degree of social commentary to Britain's party-hearty garage/2-step (and later grime) movement. Skinner, a Birmingham native who later ventured to the capital, was an outsider in the garage scene, though his initial recordings appeared on Locked On, the premiere source for speed garage and, later, 2-step from 1998 to the end of the millennium. He spent time growing up in North London as well as Birmingham, and listened first to hip-hop, then house and jungle. Skinner made his first tracks at the age of 15, and during the late '90s, tried to start a label and sent off his own tracks while he worked dead-end jobs in fast food.