Mike Skinner ran out of inspiration after his early success.

Mike Skinner

Mike Skinner

The 41-year-old rapper released his debut album, 'Original Pirate Material', through his music project The Streets back in 2002 - but Mike admits he subsequently struggled for subject matter.

He said: "You gradually make your life easier and easier until you've got nothing left to say."

Mike's first album was a commercial and critical success, and he says writing the record was a very easy process.

Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, he shared: "People say: 'Oh, they're only 19 or 20 and they've made this amazing music.'

"But it's like ... actually, that's when it's easiest. You've come straight out of the school playground and you're like: 'That's s**t, that's good, this is what I believe in, go.'"

Mike also thinks achieving fame and fortune as a young musician can be a bittersweet experience.

He explained: "I don't generally have a lot of sympathy for celebrities, because you can always not walk into the fire.

"But if you do, then you are absolutely taking a gamble with your mental health. And it's a traumatic thing, to be very young and very famous. Not like some traumas, but it's ... I guess it's a bit like winning the lottery. It doesn't usually end well."

However, Mike thinks that with age comes wisdom, saying "old people almost become Buddhists".

Reflecting on the current generational divide, the rap star said: "When you're young you think old people are a bit stupid. But they've done everything we've done, plus everything the previous generations did, and the one before that.

"I think old people almost become Buddhists. They're like: 'It ain't worth me saying s**t so I'm going to just sit here and chill.'"