The Streets was founded in 1994 as a project with Johnny Drum Machine and Kevin Mark Trail, Mike Skinner moved from Birmingham to Brixton to persue his recording career, he later then moved to Camden town for three years and then returned to Brixton.
Mike Skinner tried to start a record label while creating music, in order for this to happen he was working in Fast Food Restaurants in order to support himself.
In 2001 Locked On Lable released 'Has It Come To This?' under the name of The Streets which proved to be to be a success reaching #18 in the UK charts.
The Debut album Original Pirate Material was released a year later in 2002, Mike Skinner wanted to take the Garage Genre in a new direction by reflecting the lifestyle of clubbing in Britain. The album was nothing but a success and was nominated for the Mercury Prize, however Ms. Dynamite ended up taking the prize.
Due to the success of Original Private Material The Streets were nominated for the best urban act, best breakthrough artist and best British male artist in the 2002 BRIT Awards.
His singles for the album included Don't Mug Yourself, Weak Become Heroes and Let's Push Things Forward all which reached the top #40 in the UK charts. The album its self debuted and peaked at #12 in the UK album charts.
Due to The Streets success in the UK this led to a US release of Original Pirate Material through Vice/Atlantic in 2002, the album was not as successful in the states however it
was received positively with Rolling Stone, Spin, New York Times and many more nominating it as one of the best albums of the year. It reached #2 on the billboard electronic charts the top 20 on the independent and Heatseeker charts in the US in 2003.