Who wants it?

For some strange reason, a strand of political, social and cultural critique has always been fascinated with (working-class) violence. It’s real: these guys aren’t faking it.

Sadly, I suspect Acarine might be. If so, they’re cynical pricks. If they’re 4real, then they’re just pricks. I’ve seen a PR biography which was the most ludicrous piece of rubbish I’ve seen in a long long time. It deserves a wider audience.

“I’m gonna write British and speak about Britain. I grew up in England not L.A. I’m not Ice Cube so I can’t talk about gangs and pimps” So says Alex Lusty, multi-tattooed, Rangers supporting frontman for uncompromising Hoolie rappers Acarine.

Must. Not. Infer. Anything. From. Club. Supported.

Together with Forest supporting henchman Brett Gordon, Acarine have established a totally original and cutting edge British take on the gang ethos, codes and rituals that inform the best and darkest of US hip-hop.


“Britain can be a dark, dark place, he continues

Can’t it just. I was in the Scottish countryside last year and couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. Great night-sky panoramas though.

“but I grew up with Hoolie firms, casuals, plastic gangsters and dodgy geezers out to make a few quid, therefore I have to commentate on what I know and see.”

I also fear that he grew up with the cast of Face who have cruelly duped him. Anyway, consider yourself released from your burden of Telling It Like It Is.

Signing to a small Oxford-based label, Acarine’s debut single ‘Blinder’ with it’s sampling of the Minder theme ‘I Could Be So Good For You’ got a shit load of airplay from Chris Moyles at Radio One and Zane Lowe at Xfm, and would doubtless have been one of the year’s biggest homegrown chart successes if their label hadn’t mysteriously vanished just before release.

It’s a conspiracy to silence this authentic voice! You?ll be telling me next that Dubya’s military service record will mysteriously disappear.

Signing a deal with Moby and Royksopp’s management company and retreating to their bunker with vengeance on their minds, Acarine reloaded and, ‘The Long Good Friday’ sampling ‘God Shoots Jesus Saves’, was their first salvo back into the heart of the action. Coupled with ‘Pig In The Middle’ (about a copper who likes violence just that bit too much), you were flung, wide-eyed, straight into the middle of Acarine’s world.

Ha! Reloaded! God Shoots! DYS! And, with the use of ‘God shoots, Jesus Saves’ it seems that in addition to plastic gangster and dodgy geezers, they also grew up surrounded by derivative jokers. And if you’re doing that joke, you really should use the original ‘Jesus Saves, St John scores from the rebound’.

The limited edition pressing rapidly sold out and after a period of negotiation, Acarine signed a five album deal with Roadrunner Records who’s Hip Hop subsiduary CNR is home to Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Canibus and Grand Puba. Like Ian Dury, Madness and Morrissey before them, Acarine mine the seam of quintessential Englishness that once characterised the best of British music. The difference is that the Oxford-based Hoolie Rappers wreak their lyrical mayhem over tuff beats and brilliant samples.
There’s no half-arsed, cod-American, Uzi-toting, Ho-bashing bullshit here. Acarine’s world is running with your football crew, (“never hit a scarfer or a shirter”), coppers out for a ruck, low-rent gangsters, making a few quid by whatever means, coping with grief off your other half and all the general shit life flings in your face.

No comment can be added here. I merely cut and paste in all its glory. Though Mike Skinner has a lot to answer for.

And make no mistake about it, the band’s position on racism and racists is crystal clear. “We don’t stand for none of that shite. We say …..’Smash the NF and the BNP/Got no time for Combat 18′. We’ll take steps to combat racism at any level”

Sadly, there is still a lot of shite they do stand for. Better anti-racist dickheads than racist dickheads eh?

?Amongst Acarine’s biggest fans is legendary West Ham top boy Cass Pennantwho namecheck’s the band in his book ‘Rolling With The 657 Crew’, (about the infamous Portsmouth FC hooligans).The band reciprocated by writing ‘Cass’s Theme (Lowlife City)’
“The first time we met Cass in the downstairs of a Covent Garden wine bar it must have looked like a Guy Ritchie film! There was Cass, 6’4″, and QPR boy ‘Wraithy’ who’s like a pitbull in a trenchcoat, and me and Brett, all Stone Island-ed up sparring terrace stories off each other. Cass boomed he wanted us to all roll as a crew, kinda like the freemasons. He has been true to his word and turns up at our shows with a firm of boys”

I’m glad they mentioned a Guy Ritchie film. Maybe they’re much more ironic than I’m pegging them for. But ‘Kinda like the freemasons’? Without being so bold as to suggest that Acarine are coming up from not-very-mean streets, it does strike me that the most available metaphor for top boys isn’t the freemasons. Or maybe the truth of those secretive freemason meetings is out- they all roll together, visiting wine bars, using mobile phones to arrange offs with the Rotary Club. And worst of all – you wear burberry.

‘Lairy, un-PC, patriotic, vehemently anti-racist, and anti bloodsport, Acarine are the kinda geezers you don’t wanna fuck with.’

Oh good – they’re anti-PC. That’s always a good sign of quality commetary. And they like cute iccle foxes! You could take them home to meet your mum. I can tell Acarine now that I don?t wish to fuck with them. I certainly don’t want to listen to them either.

It appears that there’s some link up with the Elijah Wood film which Pete has already dubbed ‘the littlest thuggo’ How much more real is that? Play up your hoolie links in order to get advance publicity for the film you’re involved with. And the ire expressed to the Streets? Rival hoolie film soundtrack bands in cat fight shocker.

What really annoys me though is that a sport I love is contaminated by these scumbags. A lingering impression of fans as scum is reinforced, policing costs remain ridiculously high, occasionally trouble breaks out and the innocent get caught up in it. Glorfying it earns my contempt as much as doing it. The Football League boss Alan Hardaker once said to Margaret Thatcher ‘get your thugs out of my game’. And whilst we’re at it, take Acarine with you.