That the Streets -- the nom de rap of British recording artist Mike Skinner -- has zero street cred is no surprise. To listeners accustomed to American rap's bombast, boasts, and bling bling, Skinner's Tinkertoy beats and po'-mouthed rhymes must seem slight indeed. A Grand Don't Come for Free, the follow-up to Skinner's acclaimed debut, 2002's ''Original Pirate Material,'' isn't likely to convert, say, your average Jay-Z fan. It sounds like it was recorded in a bedroom by a kid with too much free time -- which it pretty much was. Spinning tales ripped from the minutiae of his life (subjects include gambling, drinking, and fighting with a girlfriend), Skinner is like an unabashed, fuzzy-minded slacker. ''All I seem to do is sit in this habitat/Just roachin' a spliff, watchin' the TV, and that,'' he rap-mutters on ''I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way.'' Yet it works, and even seems refreshingly exotic (chalk it up to the dead-simple but catchy melodies and that Cockney-rap ''je ne sais quoi''). Skinner's sketchily produced ditties may never be big in the hood, but his fans probably wouldn't have it any other way.