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Goldie Lookin Chain are a Welsh comedic rap music group from Newport, Wales. The group produces humorous, controversial and often explicit songs that satirise hip hop, today's consumer society, the "chav" culture and life in Newport and South Wales in general.
Many of the songs contain references to places and hang-outs local to Newport. Much of the humour comes from the adoption of hip-hop style and language, adapted into the local South Wales vernacular, partly to poke fun at "chav culture". Their music also satirises gangsta rap by highlighting the disparity between the band's deliberately unglamorous image, and the media hype and glamour usually associated with gangsta rap.
The group recorded 6 albums before gaining a major record deal and were signed to the East/West record label, the home of rock band The Darkness. Rumours suggest that GLC was signed after record label bosses heard The Darkness playing GLC tracks whilst on tour (source: BBC Radio 1 - GLC Documentary). GLC went on to support The Darkness in the latter stages of their UK tour.
GLC's first UK chart entry was "Half-Man Half-Machine"/"Self Suicide", which reached the Top 40 in the UK Singles Chart. When group member Dwain Xain Zedong was phoned by BBC chart presenter Wes on the Official Chart Show to be informed of this, Xain informed the rest of the band that they had reached number 1, much to the shock of the DJ. "Half Man Half Machine" was a surreal song about one of the members (Eggsy) believing he was a robot, dressing up in foil, and going to the shops to buy ten fags and some crisps. The song namechecks many well-known 1980s 8-bit computer systems including Binatone, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, ZX81 and BBC Micro.
In August 2004, the group reached number 3 in the UK Singles Chart with "Guns Don't Kill People, Rappers Do". With the tagline "The gun is the tool, the mind is the weapon", this track - again satirising the American hip hop scene - was a popular radio hit. The B-side was the album track, "Soapbar".
Their first nationally-released album was called Greatest Hits, the name a play on both the group's previous lack of commercial success and their "stoner" image; it compiled a mixture of new material and selections from their previous six unofficial albums. It was released in September 2004, and debuted at number 5 in the UK Albums Chart. This album was released in May 2005 in the US with the title Straight Outta Newport with cover art similar to N.W.A's album Straight Outta Compton. However, this version of the album was missing two tracks - "Maggot" and "You Knows I Loves You".
Their next single release was "Your Mother's Got a Penis", with an accompanying video based on a supermarket theme. "Your Mother's Got a Penis" first appeared on their album The Manifesto, and reached No. 14 in the UK. This song is based on a sample of Greg Philinganes' track "Behind The Mask" (originally by the Yellow Magic Orchestra and later covered by Eric Clapton in 1987).
The band - informally known as "the Chain" or simply "the GLC" - released "You Knows I Loves You Baby", a parody of 1980s love songs from the albums Greatest Hits and The Manifesto, on 13 December 2004; this reached number 22 in the UK chart. "Your Missus Is A Nutter" was the first single from second album Safe As Fuck. The album was originally going to be called "Safety in Numbers", a tribute to the album Power in Numbers by alternative L.A. rap group Jurassic 5. The single reached No. 14 in the UK. They dedicated the song to Victoria Beckham, which resulted in them being summoned by the Newport mayor's office, who also objected to the title of their album, Safe as Fuck.
In June 2010 GLC played at a May Ball at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. During the last song there was a stage invasion which caused the stage to collapse; no one was injured. On 25 September 2010 the GLC hosted a celebrity golf challenge in Newport featuring Howard Marks, Dirty Sanchez, Super Furry Animals, The Automatic and many other Welsh stars.
From their inception to the present day, the band have continuously generated controversy, with commentator John Motson directing a particular amount of ire in their direction.
In 2005, GLC were invited by the Football Association of Wales to perform before the World Cup qualifying match against England at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the nature of the band's music and the participation of England star David Beckham, the band dedicated "Your Missus Is a Nutter" to the footballer about his wife, who was present at the match. The ensuing furore, with the Welsh football authorities having to apologise to the Beckhams, (despite David Beckham appearing to take the joke in good humour) as well as expressing outrage at the band's perceived lack of respect, prompted many people to question why the organisers had hired them to play in the first place. In January 2009, GLC appeared on This Feeling TV, and revealed more about the incident.
In 2012, a reality documentary called Bouncers was shown on Channel 4. The documentary followed the lives of some of Newport's nightclub doormen. GLC spoofed the show in a song called "Newport Bouncers", and posted a video on YouTube containing visual and audio excerpts from the original documentary. GLC's "Newport Bouncers" had over 170,000 hits in under a week when it was removed from YouTube by the documentary's makers Century Films. The reason cited was copyright infringement.
In January 2006, Maggot appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in the UK. He finished in third place behind Michael Barrymore and the non-celebrity Chantelle Houghton.
In 2005, Eggsy appeared on a special music edition of Celebrity Weakest Link, and proved himself to be quite astute despite his stoner image, finishing second to eventual winner Fish (born Derek William Dick, formerly of Marillion).
Rhys and Eggsy have appeared together on many TV shows as presenters and guest presenters, most recently "Sport Wales" and an Olympics TV show.
In 2010, they appeared on BBC Three's Snog, Marry, Avoid where three members of Goldie Lookin Chain, Rhys, Eggsy and Adam had a make under.
In July 2011, Rhys was one of eight celebrities on Welsh reality TV show on S4C called cariad@iaith:love4language learning Welsh in an eco-friendly chic campsite in Pembrokeshire.
Rhys and Eggsy currently are continuity announcers (they do the talking between the TV shows) on MTV UK from 6pm till midnight.
Return to independence, and current plans:
On 7 March 2006, it was reported that the GLC had been dropped from Atlantic Records a couple of months previously and were now going to release material on their own Gold Dust Records, which was formed on 7 March 2006 by Adam Hussain.
Shortly before they got dropped by their label, they were on tour with UK rock band Feeder. The tour was postponed until the new year when Feeder frontman Grant Nicholas developed bleeding vocal cords, whilst performing at the Brighton Centre. They joined with Feeder when the tour was resumed.
Goldie Lookin Chain then co-headlined The Full Ponty music festival day one on 27 May 2006, also with Feeder.
The group appeared in the 17 June 2006 episode of Doctor Who Confidential, expressing their love of Doctor Who and its local Cardiff production.
In August 2006, the band performed in Ibiza as part of the Ibiza Rocks nights in San Antonio Bay at BarM. Also present at their gig were Wee Man from Jackass and Matthew Pritchard from Dirty Sanchez.
The GLC released a limited-edition album entitled Under the Counter which is a collection of songs made between 2004 and 2006, in early 2008, which was followed in March 2009 by ASBO4Life, the first GLC LP with no sampled material.
In July 2009, the band played many festivals including the main stage at Kendal Calling music festival in the Lake District. They also performed at a Cambridge May Ball, where they invited the crowd to rush the stage, damaging it and preventing Toploader from performing.
In 2010, GLC released a remix album and a new LP called The Mix Tape Two and, in December 2010, they released a Christmas LP called It's a Goldie Lookin Christmas (The Fairytale of Newport), featuring 12 tracks including "Dubstep Christmas" and "You'll Never Be Alone on Christmas Day".
On 17 October 2011, GLC released the Blue Waffle album, featuring new songs including "Biscuit", "I Seen Your Mother", "K Hole" and "If I Told You". Also in 2011, it was reported that Adam Hussain, a fan of the original Dr Who series, had contributed a memory about "How a first date was interrupted by The Doctor" to a forthcoming Doctor Who charity book, designed to raise money for Alzheimer's Research UK.
In 2012, Primordial Soup - The Mix Tape 3 was released on iTunes.
2013 saw the 10-year anniversary on the first GLC live gig and the release of Kings of Caerleon on 2 September 2013.
Newport County Football Club:
The group's association with their home city's football club stretches back to their inception as a group. They featured as a sponsor on the Newport County kit worn in the FAW Premier Cup in the 2004-05 season, and are often seen on stage in Newport County shirts. In Newport County's record-breaking 2009-10 season, GLC members provided commentary for the club's popular internet radio service.
Rhys from GLC aka P.Xain,
Grayham the Bear,
One Step Down,
Goldie Lookin Chain