The record beat Radiohead's Kid A into second place, with Arctic Monkeys' Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, The Strokes' Is This It and Arcade Fire's Funeral making up the top five.
Mike Skinner, the artist who performs as The Streets, told the newspaper: "My experience of listening to UK garage, which was huge, was in people's cars and houses. The idea behind Original Pirate Material was to make music which reflected that.
"To be someone who was on the one hand very English, but at the same time a bit like Nas, and could come up with these cool-sounding couplets about all the weed that gets smoked and all the little adventures that you go on."
He added: "Every garage MC to my knowledge at that time was really a rapper. The thing about garage was, it gave you a chance of breaking out and reaching a wider public, whereas if all you were doing was making 'UK hip-hop', there was no hope of that happening.
"Yet at the same time, being a garage MC was not generally regarded as prestigious. If you're a rapper, that's a good thing: you're a wordsmith. But if you were an MC - at least until the momentous Dizzee Rascal came along - that was more like being a holiday rep."
Original Pirate Material came ninth in NME's recent albums of the decade list, which was topped by The Strokes' Is This It.