Goldie Lookin Chain | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Friday, October 30th, 2020  

Goldie Lookin Chain

Welsh Rappers Invade America?

May 01, 2005 Web Exclusive
Bookmark and Share


 

Who are Goldie Lookin’ Chain? The mysterious Welsh rapping crew first came to Under the Radar’s attention when they guested last year on the Super Furry Animals B-side “Motherfokker,” rapping about Sci-Fi movies, alien abductions, and 60’s political rockers MC5. Then word started to spread across the lands of the United Kingdom that Goldie Lookin’ Chain were a hip-hop force to be reckoned with, if not exactly to be taken seriously. At first some doubted whether their Welsh humor (imagine a collective of Welsh Ali G’s) would fly outside their native Wales, as many of their rhymes dealt with life in their city of Newport, Wales. But after an enormous amount of visits to their website, where they were offering 6 albums worth of free music for downloading, the collective signed to East/West Records in the UK, home to The Darkness. Soon they were touring with the tongue in cheek hair-metal band and getting dubbed by some as ‘the hip-hop Darkness.’ Top 40 UK hits ensued with singles like “Guns Don’t Kill People, Rappers Do” (which reached number 3 in the UK singles chart), “Your Mother’s Got a Penis,” double A-side “Half-Man Half-Machine/Self Suicide,” and “You Knows I Love You.” Their boldly titled debut album, Greatest Hits, debuted at number 5 in the UK album charts last September.


Record Collection (home to The Walkmen and Ash, among others) has just released the album in America under the new title Straight Outta Newport and the group will see if their humor will be gotten on this side of the Atlantic. We spoke to GLC member Eggsy (no last name, just Eggsy, aka: Mr. Love Eggs) via e-mail about all manner of things, including The Neville Brothers, Charlton Heston movies, 80’s sitcom characters, 19th century Norwegian painters, World War I, Welsh slang, and who knows what else. It was hard to get a straight answer out of Eggsy, and everything should be taken with a grain of salt, but that’s part of the fun. 

The other seven members of Goldie Lookin’ Chain are Xain (Dwayne Xain Xedong), Adam Hussain, Two-Hats (named because his fashion style is to wear two baseball hats at once), Mike Balls (Hardest Man in Soccer Violence), Billy Webb, Mystikal and the Maggot.

Under the Radar: How would you describe Goldie Lookin’ Chain’s music to someone who has never heard your band before?


Eggsy: The music itself is like having an operation - you may be nervous at first, but a few days later you should feel healthy. It’s very much like going into the big death chamber that features in the Charlton Heston movie The Omega Man. It’s really good fun, but if you’re not into it, don’t worry, there are other types of music available from all good retail outlets.

UTR: How would you describe the average die-hard GLC fan?


Eggsy: Usually fans have all of their own teeth and are either male or female. We really like the female ones and the male ones are pretty cool as well. A real diehard Chain-head will be well versed in the earlier works of the Chain and should hold a firm interest in extreme sports, such as drinking or power-boating and wants to fuck Adam (he told me to put that bit on).

UTR: Who is a bigger inspiration on GLC, Vanilla Ice or MC Hammer?


Eggsy: Both artists have inspired the band, but the real driving force behind the collective has to be [former British Prime Minister] Maggie Thatcher. Without her stony expression and “greed is good” Gordon Gecko in Wall Streetapproach to handling the economy there would be no infrastructure for which the Chain could evolve around. Willis from Different Strokes was wicked as well.

UTR: You’ve been called The Darkness of the hip-hop world, what do you think about that?


Eggsy: Originally we where in a death metal band called Flames Of Death and a local paper said that we where like the death metal equivalent to [old-school British comedian] Les Dawson on the piano. Adam got called a bastard once by a homeless old woman - she spat Mars Bar in his face as well, ha ha ha ha ha.


UTR: How do you feel about being labeled a joke band? Should people take your music more seriously than they do?


Eggsy: About a year ago someone referred to us as a band. It was amazing we got the record company to take us out for dinner and everything. A real joke Band should leave ink on your tablecloth or make a farting noise whenever you sit down next to them. I heard the big thing for joke bands in America at the moment is to where masks - wonderful!

UTR: In the ‘90s America had an East Coast vs. West Coast hip-hop rivalry. Is their any kind of hip-hop rivalry in Wales, like Newport vs. Cardiff?

Eggsy: Once there was this boy with a growth hormone deficiency. Quite often he was mistaken for being a lot younger than he actually was which could sometimes result in conflict (especially if alcohol was involved). Anyway, to cut a long story short, a gang of kids where going to kick him in when they noticed he was wearing a GLC around his neck. Upon noting this they all had a laugh and ended up buying each other a drink. That’s lovely, that is!

UTR: Is there a big hip-hop scene in Wales, or are you guys the only successful Welsh hip-hop act?

Eggsy: There’s loads of stuff going on, but no one bothers looking into it coz they are all too busy hanging out in London. There’s a new crew called Cillit Bang Crew who are ripping up Chepstow and Magor big-style. They have just put out a twelve-inch called "The History Channel is Both Fun and Educational" – it’s well good.

UTR: Do you ever rhyme in Welsh, or are all your rhymes in English?

Eggsy: We record everything in Welsh, then the record label has to pay Darius Danish, or whatever his name is fromFame TV Academy [kind of like American Idol] to translate it all and rerecord it in English, but with welsh accents. This interview is being typed by an interpreter as you are reading it.....hello!.......that was him saying hi.

UTR: Can you describe the vibe in Newport, as most of our readers have probably never been there before?


Eggsy: It’s cool because it has the universality of all towns, saying that it has just achieved city status - we have Starbucks, HMV and a leisure centre. It’s amazing because it’s home and we know all the places to get booze after hours. It’s amazing and the birds [slang for girls] are safe.

 

UTR: Can you tell us some of your favorite Newport slang phrases and words and then translate their meaning for us?

Eggsy: ‘What it is!’ Always start a sentence off with this popular number, it adds impact and lets the listener know you are about to describe something.

‘Safe!’ This means something is positive and can be used to describe many different events and actions.

‘Dinner time!’ What your mum says when it’s time to eat.


UTR: If Rap is more deadly than Kung-Fu [as GLC’s song “Guns Don’t Kill People, Rappers Do” proclaims], is there anything more deadly than Rap?


Eggsy: Yeah Wyclef Jean going on a killing Spree with a hosepipe in an office block – that’s well deadly that is.

 

UTR: “Your Mother’s Got a Penis” is described on your website as a love song for the post modern generation, can you elaborate on that? Was there an actual mother with a penis who inspired the song?

 

Eggsy: A lot of people often ask this, but if you break down the tune you come to realize that it’s actually a song about the classic pub argument, which as we all know ends up becoming an exchange of playground style put downs and results in a western style bar brawl, hence the ultimate insult: your-muvvas-gorra-penis.

 

UTR: What inspired the song “Half Man, Half Machine?”


Eggsy: We have all been avid fans of The Neville Brothers, especially Aron Neville, he’s the one with the thing on the side of his face, I think. Anyway, we wanted to see them live, but couldn’t afford to get tickets so we decided to make robotic versions of them. That way they could perform for us everyday for free. It didn’t work in the end so we just wrote a song about wanting to be a robot. It’s good.

UTR: What was it like opening for Snow Patrol and how did their audience like you? It doesn’t seem like their audience would be into you guys.


Eggsy: There was a man called Herbert Munch [actually, that’s Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, 1863 – 1944] and he painted a picture called The Scream. I think he had seen that film, Scream, coz it looks just like the mask in that. Anyway, when we did the Snow Patrol show there were people in the audience who looked at us like that. It was fun, I like it when they get confused - it makes them drink more and then they dance.

UTR: Is it really true that the roots of the GLC go all the way back to 1983?


Eggsy: No, The GLC actually began in 1917 as a result of Polish and Welsh troops meeting up by accident on a secret airfield in Germany. They had lost all of their supplies and only had the silk from parachutes from which to make clothes with, the resulting outfits provided with a comfortable yet practical outfit in which to kill the enemy. That day saw the birth of the leisure suit.

UTR: What’s your plan for conquering America? Do you think America will get your sense of humor or do you think you’ll end up with more of a cult following in the States?

Eggsy: I had a plan to conquer America, but the label wouldn’t allow me to use a real army. I gave up on that and now am only into getting over to the States for the shopping. I heard that if they like us we can go back. Last time I gave everyone I spoke to ten Bucks [so] I reckon they will ask us back. They have a much better sense of humor than we thought they would–there’s even a comedy channel on TV, how cool is that?

UTR: Why isn’t the album entitled Greatest Hits in the States?


Eggsy: The leader of our record label is a man called Daryl Dalrymple. He is a very powerful media mogul who worked his way up through the carpet industry to get where he is today. If he tells us to jump we jump. He reckons the next album will be called Panty Wetter in the UK, but Wetter Panties in the US. Marketing legend!

UTR: What’s the biggest misconception about the GLC?

Eggsy: That Adam was pregnant.

UTR: What’s the best advice you could give to our readers, any sage words of advice to end this interview with?

Eggsy: Don’t smoke in bed!

 

 

Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals on Goldie Lookin' Chain

Interview by Mark Redfern


Earlier this year (in January 2005) we were in London interviewing Gruff Rhys, lead-singer of Welsh superstars Super Furry Animals (see our Spring 2005 cover story), when the subject of his fellow country-men Goldie Lookin’ Chain came up. Here’s what Gruff had to say.

Gruff Rhys: And have the Goldie Lookin’ Chain come to the states yet?

Under the Radar: I don’t think so. I heard the song they did on the Slow Life EP with you which is great. Are they from Wales?

Gruff: Yeah, they’re from Newport and they’ve become, they were a phenomenon in Wales through the internet. They have a very popular website which is http://www.youknowsit.co.uk. They rap in the English dialect and they’re extremely funny.

UTR: It seems like people over here [in the UK] either love them or hate them.

Gruff: Yeah. It’s funny, they were giving out downloads, they were giving out four albums with downloads for free for a number of years and they had no idea how many people were downloading their stuff. And they got a show in a club in southern Cardiff and it sold out instantly and tickets were going for £300. Everybody who went to see them had no idea that other people liked them. So suddenly they were selling out theatres in South Wales. You know, playing to 1500 people a night and they didn’t have a record out and at that point, of course, people started to take notice and managers moved in and they were signed. … And everybody thought, because it’s so specific to South Wales, no one thought it would work all over the UK and it did. The single has been going top ten. Now they’re going to start touring the world, which is frightening.

UTR: Well, I love the stuff they did on “Motherfokker” on the Slow Life EP when they’re talking about UFO’s and all the different horror films and sci-fi films and stuff.

Gruff: The reference points are incredible. You know, their range of references are insane. They’re extremely bright. They’re crazy.

UTR: Isn’t their album called Greatest Hits or something?

Gruff: Yeah.

UTR: That’s a pretty bold title for a debut album.

Gruff: Yeah, they have an album called The Manifesto as well on CD which they did themselves initially which featured some of the songs. I think they get to a state of completion of songs that have been on their website. And they were all recorded for fun with no market [in mind]. They weren’t thinking about audiences or markets. It’s the kind of thing that could never have been done if they had been on a major label initially. They would have never allowed them to do it.


Goldie Lookin’ Chain’s official site: www.youknowsit.co.uk

 

 



Comments

Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published

URL

Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Drug Rehab
March 13th 2010
5:35pm

This is a good piece of writing, I was wondering if I could use this write-up on my website, I will link it back to your website though. If this is a problem please let me know and I will take it down right away.

Phyllis Kimball
August 2nd 2011
4:09am

Thank you for sharing this great interview. Goldie Lookin Chain have become a quite well-recognized hip-hop group from South Wales. I like that they make humorous, controversial and often explicit songs.