With a name like Bad Boy Chiller Crew, before you’ve heard them, seen them or even smelt the trio’s knock off Paco Rabanne from a 20-yard distance, you know they’re not taking themselves too seriously.
The Bradford boys – Gareth aka GK, 25, Kane, 23 and Sam aka Clive, 23 – blew up last year with a series of music videos that saw them pulling doughnuts in a Vauxhall Nova, posing next to a horse’s schlong and sniffing keys while rapping about pulling girls and making money.
Their music is paired with crude comedy skits featuring recurring characters Giles the Yorkshire Farmer, Danny Boy the Gypsy Fighting King and PC Bill Bacon, which began racking up tens of millions of views across social media.
Then, the national press caught on. Over the last year, Bad Boy Chiller Crew have been covered by the likes of The Guardian, Hypebeast and Vice (who made a full length documentary) and they’ve been offered to tour China. The boys have a proper PR team and a record deal, and the music videos are getting slicker. But once the joke’s landed, is there enough left to give BBCC staying power?
Strip away the play for lolz and no one can deny that Bad Boy Chiller crew make some absolute bangers. On Full Wack No Brakes, they prove their talent as wordsmiths and ear for irresistible bassline production. While bassline (a genre that initially evolved at Sheffield’s Niche club the mid-2000s and was characterised by slinking low-end and sped-up pop vocals) has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years thanks to the global success of acts like Holy Goof and Skepsis, in Yorkshire, the sound never went away.
Full Wack No Brakes is as much a love letter to the joyously caffeinated sound BBCC grew up with, as it is a celebration of driving expensive German cars round town and having the fame to pull girls who have been verified on Twitter. Theirs is a slinkier, less gnarly take on the bassline genre though, peppered with touches of happy hardcore and the kind of pop house you hear at a fairground. It has more in common with mid-noughties chart botherer T2 than anything you’d hear in a Holy Goof set.
The trio’s MCing style is full throttle too. Each verse is delivered with barely a breath taken and as if they’ve challenged themselves to get it done before the light flicks from red to amber at a traffic crossing. Five of the mixtape’s 11 tracks are boosted by guest verses from S‑Dog, a respected MC from the Bradford scene, proving that BBCC aren’t just a pure novelty act.
Lyrically the album deals with classic rap tropes like growing up poor (“She worked three jobs so my clothes was branded”), local tit for tat squabbles (“You don’t want war, like Trump in Iran”), sexual bravado (“she’ll be on my cock until I stop these anthems”) and a love of designer clothes and cars (“name brand on my jeans, driving fast in my Beam”) – all delivered with a cheeky wink and broad Yorkshire accents.
Like a ride on the waltzers or following a line of coke washed down with a Jägerbomb, Full Wack No Brakes is an adrenaline rush of an album. Whether it’s one that stands up to repeated listens is debatable. But even if their transition from local legends to an industry-backed act doesn’t work out in the long term, it’s hard to begrudge their big moment in the sun.