Pop Factor: 400

At Glastonbury, Goldie Lookin’ Chain were enormous; the dance tent was flooded with people trying to cram themselves in and catch a glimpse of the comedy Welsh rap troupe. You wouldn’t have got that sort of crowd for MC Miker G, more’s the pity. From our vantage point by a clothing stall playing 80s pop to drunks (i.e. us) we were able to see GLC’s crowd strangely thin out over the course of the performance.

I’ve not actually sat down and listened to this record, I know it from Radio 1, who have got gamely behind GLC and placed them on some kind of rotation. The first time I heard it I thought it was the worst record of the year. Now I just think it’s tiresome and awfully laboured, but it bounces along without getting in anyone’s way. I was sorely tempted to come over all K-Punk and decry the total lack of intensification (or indeed good jokes) GLC provide – I mean my god, when I was a student I fell for music that MEANT something and FELT something, I didn’t waste my time on idiotic rap pisstakes, what could anyone possibly GET out of this, etc. Then I remember Sultans Of Ping FC and retreat in shame. 2 (Tom)

Guns Don’t Kill People Crrraaahhhhhpaaaaaahs Do.

When was the last time a crapper killed someone? The toilet bomb in Lethal Weapon 2 did not kill anyone, and even the bloke who got stuck in the lavvie on that plane did not die. No, crappers never killed no-one.

Goldie Looking Chain on the other hand are obviously murderous young scamps who are attempting to corner the comedy rap territory. Except they are not even vaguely funny. Scratching from 1938 and rhymes that would have put Morris Minor and The Majors to shame. Shitty Looking Chain more like. 1 (Pete)

21 seconds to go times infinity for 6 (or however many) hawd gankstuh rapphus (wit billy clubs) making like they might be giants, dropping names and stiff old skool iambs like pigeon shit all over Trafalgar. Hip-hop US jingo fuckers knocking Dizzee & the Streets & anyone else from that side of the Atlantic don’t need more ammunition. 2 (David Raposa)

It’s Helen Love for people who’ve just discovered that ‘hiphop has
some quite good production’, innit? 2 (cis)

Backward-Looking Chain, more like. This ironic “rappers and violence” stance is just not very topical (15 years after Ice-T, 8 years after Biggie/Tupac). Not sure I get it. Reminds me a bit of the Black Grape song that sampled/plunderphonicked Reagan about 10 years after he was relevant. (Hell, they might as well have sampled Ten Years After). Even the dirty guitar riff and beastie-yapping seem pretty 90’s. Dizzee and The Streets have raised the bar in British rap pretty high, and this innocuous number just doesn’t cut it. 3 (Henry Scollard)

Streets-wannabes Goldie Looking Chain have come up with a mediocre Hip Hop version of Losing My Edge. Aren’t spoofs meant to be tongue in cheek? I guess not anymore. 3 (Stevie Nixed)

Guns don’t kill people, but tracks like this make me want to kill the people who make them. Annoyingly, this isn’t all bad: occasionally the banality of the sentiments being expressed matches the banality of the attitudes being attacked, and the song finds that awkward crossing point where the politician who likes to blame music or video games for society’s ills and the rapper who likes to pose with weapons meet on the road to heaven to receive their karmic payback from a mutant torture robot. But then if I’d had a decade on the dole to write a novelty rap hit, I hope I’d be able to come up with a couple of half-decent gags too. See you in another ten years boyos? 3 (alext)

Of course all kids should be doing this stuff, but it should circulate on downloads, not on the bleedin’ pop charts. Charismatic lads I reckon, and spending the odd 30 seconds with this tune is fun enough. The jokes don’t quite come fast enough, though, and it’s strangely un-hectic considering the bolshy, hyperactive 12 teenage piece behind it. They all rap the same, and there are multiple lisps are in effect. This is/they are a stoned joke. 5 (Derek Walmsley)

While the name Goldie Lookin Chain rings familiar to me, I guess not only because of its similarity with Gold Chains, I hadn’t heard them before so I don’t know how this song relates to the rest of their material. “Guns Don’t Kill People, Rappers Do” could be playlisted in indie discos and I could appreciate it in that particular context. At home at work at play I wouldn’t be bothered to listen to it, though. The Blockheads-alike groove makes me somewhat curious about the rest of their repertoire, even though I fear that everything except the namedropping will be as retro as this one song. 5 (Diego Valladolid)

Cali’s Gold Chains doesn’t seem to have the lockdown on ol’skool bigbeat whiteboy novelty hiphop anymore. Infectious, silly-ass twoturntablesandamicrophone tracks with shout outs to Scott LaRock put me back on the bus to junior high with the boombox pumpin’ License to Ill. Clearly these guys would love to be Britain’s answer to the B-Boys and I’m pretty impressed with how dead on they hit that note. Lord knows this type of throwback treadmill rap from a European source is unlikely to sell big numbers (or even turn heads) here in the states; I imagine they’d catch a serious beatdown opening for Jadakiss. Still, I’m amused. They’re no Mike Skinner, but they’ll do. 7 (Forksclovetofu)

First listen: I hate this! Horrible parody/novelty record junk. Morris and the Minors, grr, gah, grr!

Second listen: Oh, it’s quite good really. “From Bristol Zoo to BNQ” “saw it in a documentary on BBC2” haha…It’s deceptive! 7 (Jel)

Unlikeliest mainstream catapulting of the year, then? Impossibly sweary Newport posse find themselves on a major label and showbiz pals with the middle-tier of the music industry (Snow Patrol, SFA, The Darkness), and with the bizarre and slightly scary prospect of a second top 40 hit… I really rather like this. They’re not particularly good rappers, but there’s just something about their opening lines – “Guns don’t kill people, rappers do/I’m a fuckin’ rapper and I might kill you” – to these ears, that’s almost as good as, like, MOP or someone. It’s a nice, light, enjoyable three and a half minutes or so, with some genuinely dead funny moments and a half-decent tune wrapped around it. Bonus points for their first hit single being exactly the same as the one they’ve had up on their site for years, plus them hanging up on Wes live on air. 8 (though I’ve this bizarre feeling that’s an awful lot more than anyone else will give it…) (William B Swygart)