At V Festival this year I met the notorious Welsh rappers, Goldie Lookin' Chain. Given their somewhat infamous reputation I expected a torrent of hilariously explicit antics, although I can't say I was prepared for the dose of free sex and clunge that came my way.
As I talked to the links that made up the chain we looked back at their greatest and most successful hits, and discussed what they claim to be the best work they've ever done: their upcoming album Blue Waffle, to be released in the UK on 17 October.
The GLC albums are renowned for airing the controversies of our time, giving uncensored accounts of the current day -- often offensive to those unfamiliar with The Chain. GLC themselves are a zeitgeist; a product of the real world, rapping to real people about sex, drugs and...erm, your mother having a penis. They wear tracksuits, trainers, big, fat gold chains, and quite frankly they couldn't care less if you're offended by it.
They never take themselves too seriously, and simultaneously make a mockery of rappers who want to become the epitome of cool. And this is what they're famous for; they're defined by their lyrical humour, satirical outfits and comedy on-stage shenanigans. Saying this, they still manage to add relevant social comment to their albums in a way that is predominantly recognised by and meaningful to UK chav culture.
In their track 'Soap Bar', for example, they confront the circumstantial crippling of the economic world -- although the tone is somewhat different to say Fitz and The Tantrums' almost tentative 'Dear Mr. President'. GLC rap about using soap bar as a substitute for skunk during a time when everyone is tightening their purse strings.
"There's a recession on so you gotta go for the cheap alternative. Who wants a bit of fuckin' soap," says Adam at the Undercover Stage at V.
So given the spectrum of their previous material I was intrigued to find out about Blue Waffle. For those of you who are blissfully unaware, blue waffle, in actual terms, refers to a venereal disease contracted by women. But in terms of their new album: "Blue Waffle is mostly about sex and getting the finger in," says Rhys (aka P Xain). "I felt so much sexual energy when recording this album, I almost had a baby on my own," to which Maggot responds "fit to burst."
In keeping with the sexual spirit of the album, Adam Hussein told me how they'd been meeting in their pants for what they call community workshops -- a place with open doors, where it's up to the members to turn up. Apparently, by listening to the new album it's obvious who attended the community workshops the most.
"Mystikal was having a baby at the time -- that seemed to go on for like 9 months -- the longest pregnancy in the world. He didn't turn up enough, but he was there in spirit," says Rhys.
Whilst at V Festival The Chain took the opportunity to promote Blue Waffle. They told me how they accosted KT Tunstall and persuaded her to say the word clunge during her performance on the main stage. Going above and beyond the call of duty, not only did she fulfil her promise, she got the audience to get involved, too.
"You can't buy advertising like that. Unfortunately, she didn't say anything about us or the gig we'd be doing, she just talked about clunge...but that's fine. Talking about clunge is enough," says Maggot.
Later that night, I of course went to see their gig at the Undercover Stage, which they now claim to own after performing there for 4 consecutive years, and 6 times in their total gigging history (the only band ever to do this).
"So the next time we go to Llangennith camping we're taking it with us. But unfortunately we do have to take it down...it's in the terms and conditions. You should see the bag it goes in as well, fuckin' hell!" says Adam.
True to themselves, the performance was everything I had expected and hoped it would be. The GLC legion bounded on stage sporting an array of tracksuits, sweatbands, riding scooters and of course clad with -- what any performance would be lost without -- goldie lookin' chains!
Over 10 years on and The Chain were still able to pack out the Undercover Stage. People were abandoning their friends at the main stage host to The Arctic Monkeys (headliners to close V Festival 2011 in Staffordshire) just so they wouldn't miss out on GLC action. 'Guns Don't Kill People Rappers Do' and 'Your Mother's Got a Penis', which were the closing tracks of the night, seemed to be the crowd's favorites.
Fans went bonkers, while some even took to the stage to become honourary links in the chain. The GLC set was a fantastic end to V -- Goldie Lookin' Chain, you're the skywalker to my Luke. And the only time it'll ever be appropriate for me to say this: I can't wait to get Blue Waffle.
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