Goldie Lookin Chain
As Tim Westwood would say - It's a take-over Baby!!! A huge unstoppable pikey pop take-over with a uniform of lesiure wear and gold chains. As the GLC prepare to take it international, Designer Magazine caught up with Mystikal following the bands brief Japanese jaunt and talked about their plans to take the Gang Of Newport on to the streets of New York. We also got the low-down on the bands second album which sets to feature the immortal rhyming couplet "Body kit" with "Claudia Schiffer taking a shit"
Q: Hello Mystikal. Long time, no speak. How it's all going?
A: Never better. I'm sitting here with a black ankle after an Edinburgh based stag do last weekend. I've got various other random bruises on my body, but apart from that nothing could be better son.
Q: Who's getting married - one of the GLC?
A: (Laughs) No no. An old time friend. He's only 600 years old.
Q: As you're heading over to the States soon we're gonna pretend i'm Casey Casem, but i'll probably sound more like Normski or something. What's the crucial difference between Welsh and US hip hop?
A: It's a very good question. I suppose there's not much of a difference really. If it's to be believed that all Americans own gold chains, drive amazingly blinged up motors, all own guns and have at least one fat relative - I suppose relatively speaking Welsh hip hop is exactly the same.
The one thing is we're all products of our environment at the end of the day. We only rap about the kind of things we see in Newport. So we see fights outside chip shops, we see robbing and beatings, we see kids smoking draw outside school...and of course these are the things that we rap about. So essentially the only difference there is is the environment
Q: So it's more Gangs Of Newport than Gangs Of New York?
A: Nice touch...I like where you're going on this one man
Q: And the GLC have written a track "Shit To Me" about these cultural differences, a musical exchange trip if you like
A: A lot of people see that as an attack on American music. We see it more as encouraging yourself and other people to support your local bands. It's just an alternative. You don't have to buy and eat everything that's put on a plate in front of you by the charts and the Top 40. You'll find all sorts of little know gems are lying around to in place as obscure as Rhyl or Swansea
Q: Tell us about the Welsh Hip Hop history starting with Tystion and all that lot.
A: Back in the day according to a Taxi Driver that we were chatting to, there was a band called Racing Cars who had a Number 1 hit back in the mid-late seventies. I'm not sure whether that was a hip hop number or not, but I like to think alongside any Shakin Stevens comeback B-sides we are possibly one of the early rap / hip hop artists to come out of South Wales.
The only other thing I would mention is the other underground artists that are doing the rounds in Cardiff at the moment. A few of them were trying to bring out on tour with us, but a lot of them just don't get the recognition they deserve. A lot of them are on SFDB Records in Cardiff or people like Humrat De Gritty and Jehst. It's proper hip hop - not that professional Karaoke you get from the chain
Q: If we're looking at the United Kingdom in general we have Tim Westwood, son of a vicar, as the head of UK hip hop. America has Dre Dre and Suge Knight. Who would win the Trans-Atlantic Hip Hop war?
A: It all depends on who has got the biggest entourage. And then again who's got the most well armed entourage. I'll say one thing for certain. It's absolutely guaranteed that Westwood does have a much better taste in motors. I've seen his van with his lovely face emblazoned on the side. It's a sight to behold. So on that basis I think Tim Westwood would win...and his dad is a Priest, so he's got God on his side.
Q: You've just been out to Japan. How did the Japanese kids react to the GLC?
A: They went mental. They'd obviously done their research and they were all dressed up in Old Skool Flavas. We saw some Filla, some Adidas and we also saw one man that was dressed as a Japanese Half Man-Half Machine and had gone as a far as inserting part of a BBC micro under his skin; when he pressed his right testicle his face lit up.
Q: The Japanese, kinda like the 3 Wise Men multiplied to a whole nation, are known for bearing gifts. What gifts did they bring for you?
A: According to Eggsy, he watched this on one of the BBC2 Learning Zone documentaries, the culture over in Japan is when presented with a gift you have to 1) Comment on how well they have wrapped 2) Ask their permission to open it 3) You've got to promise to give them some form of sex in return.
We had all sort of Gadgets from 21st Century Tamigotchi all the way through to various Japanese imports of Playstation 2 Games, the likes of which I couldn't comprehend. We couldn't read the instructions because they were all in Japanese, but it's all part of the fun trying to work out the controls.
Q: Did they re-use the Welsh leisure wear they wore on previous Tom Jones and Charlotte Church visits?
A: One of them had a Welsh head band on and one of them had football boots reminiscent of the Welsh Rugby Team.
Q: Coming as someone who's visited the Wetherspoons in Newport, well not so much visited but ran out straight away, it's not strange to watch you take over the UK. But the idea of the GLC on rampage over Japan and Europe is bizarre
A: We did parts of Europe last year. That was bizarre because we went to places where they hadn't even heard of the concept of "Brits Out On The Piss". We weren't looked at in same way as a French or Spanish would look at a British band abroad. We stopped over in Finland, Norway, Sweden. All crazy places and some people liked the lyrical content, if they could understand it, and other people just enjoyed the old school samples and the beats. Other people just enjoyed the vision of eight lunatics dressed in tracksuits rhyming in time to music. We've got all our bases covered.
Q: And you're going over to the States I believe in March
A: I went over to the States in the early part of last year. I went to LA, San Francisco and Vegas and that just blew my f**king head away mate. We pitched at the right time because the exchange rate was working our favour, but I blame Vegas for the fact I came back owing a grand and a half. Vegas is a very strange place - like Butlins but on a much grandeur scale with escalators so you can't escape.
This March we've got a gig in New York and at the arse end of it we've got a gig in LA. In the middle of that we've got the SXSW Festival in Austin. We're not even sure where Austin is in America cos the only time we've ever heard Austin mentioned is in Steve Austin - The Six Million Dollar Man.
Q: How are you gonna compete with The Game and 50 Cent?
A: We would probably have a sit down and challenge them to a game of Newport Monopoly. Of course they're not into the whole utilities and properties things so we'd basically get Maggot looking after the money and we'd probably stitch them up over the old community chest cards as well. We'd write stuff like "It is your birthday. You must give each member of the GLC a bird and 50 quid for the night"
Q: Is it just me or do you look at The Game and think cheer up, go and watch an episode of Keenan and Kell
A: Exactly. They need to buck their ideas up. When you're that successful you can afford not to take yourself serious and go mental for a good couple of years. Just look at Guru Josh.
Q: In between British Holidays to Japan and the US you're working on the new album at the moment. Tell us about it?
A: Little by little we're completing all the projects. We've got our first very very casual steps into the world of drum'n'bass with a track called "Neon Racer", which of course is all about bad boys and cars. You can expect loads of chrome alloys, spoilers, body kits and you might even get "Body kit" rhyming with "Claudia Schiffer taking a shit"
We've also got another tune about the whole binge drinking state where birds have overtaken blokes on the piss about 5-1. It's about your girlfriend and my girlfriend sitting at opposite ends of the pub, we might have a chat and get the lagers in, but they suddenly go crazy for no apparent reason, have a cat fight and start beating seven shades of shit out of each other. It's all about girls gettlng wasted, going out on the piss and having a major f**king rumble.
The next album basically trying to put a name to the face of Urban decay.
Q: You said before you've got a drum and bass track ready to go. Can we expect a move out of hip hop into Grime and other genre's?
A: Not so much grime because the rhymes are a bit too fast paced for us. If you look at any of the photographs of the boys, all of them have got rather large mouths. Obviously the lips moving at that velocity can do yourself some damage so we're stepping away from Grime for the time being. We might have a foray into it for GLC B-side, but I think it will be along the lines of Grime Lounge music if that's not a really a contradiction in terms.
Q: And the infamous Crunk music - the cross between crazy and drunk
A: Wow. I've never heard of that. I'm altogether with categorizing things and making sure you know which way your music is going to fall. But if anyone described Crunk to me I would just say it's like hearing that Stone Roses track that goes backwards. It's like hearing that for the very first time in a pub when you're 14 and pissed out of your head.
Q: Finally, America should have an idea of who the GLC are - but to clarify who would be your American counterparts
A: I think it would be any of the boys off Ordinary Joe. Get eight of rejects off the show, all proper social misfits each and everyone, put them in tracksuits and you've got half of the idea of what the Chain's about
Q: You recently got slightly serious trying to save the world at the Welsh Tsunami Gig alongside Aled Jones and Charlotte Church. It's not a sign the GLC are going to turn into the Beastie Boys is it?
A: I wouldn't say we're going to turn round and become a serious outfit. One of the thing people were concerned about is we were f**king diabolical at the start, and we still are. But they're a little worried because apparently we're getting a bit more professional and our dance moves are actually coming off. Every time a man does a forward flop with a half arsed attempt at an arab spring it actually looks quite good. We've gotta watch that, but I guess it's just a case of downing a bottle of White Lightning before hand.
How the GLC saw those classic hip hop joints?
As the general public haven't had a Tim Westwood celebrity makeover we decided to ask the GLC how us Brits saw some of those classic hip hop joints in our English Country Gardens rather than the streets of Compton.
* Public Enemy's "911 Is A Joke"
F**king 192 is a joke. I almost missed a plane on the way to a stag do in Edinburgh. I was 5 minutes late and they'd already closed the check in. And because it's BMI Baby I had to kneel down and beg for them to let me down on a plane and because it Cardiff Airport's not that big anyway it wasn't too much of a problem.
In between that I was told to go to the ticket office and tried to dial 192 directory enquiries for the train timetable lists. It's f**king useless. They'd give me any other number under the sun like Virgin Trains Customer Services.
192 is a joke. Bunch of c**ts. In fact it's not even 192 anymore, so instead of that you phone it and get told to ring 0800 192192 587 - no, rubbish!!!
* De La Soul's "3ft High and Rising"
Did you hear the story about Jimmy Krankie? She fell 20ft off the top of a beanstalk and lost part of her leg.
* Public Enemy's "It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back"
About the sad decline in mental health institutions in South Wales. It takes a nation of patients to hold us back. Nowadays it's a case of Care In The Community, you might as well be on your own in a f**king council estate.
* Snoop Dogg's "Drop It While It's Hot"
Billy Webbs brother, DCI Burnside, who takes his name from popular character from the Bill. On the way back from pub he once spotted a man eating a carton of gravy and chips, now this obviously isn't the be all and end all, the be and end all was the woman who was knelt down in front of him giving him a blowie while he was still eating his gravy and chips. If we would have dropped it while it was hot, it would have obviously ended in tears. I think he even offered he chips after she was done. Outside a chip shop on a street corner, that's f**king brilliant. It just epitomized Newport.
Goldie Lookin Chain tour the UK throughout February
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