Los Angeles Times

Chain gang

Imagine if Ali G. could actually rap. Music by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, who embodies all of rap music's excesses and stars in his own HBO series, might sound a lot like Goldie Lookin Chain, an eight-piece rap group from Newport, Wales.

Decked out in an intentionally ironic wardrobe of track suits and cheap bling, GLC's humor is both biting ("Guns Don't Kill People, Rappers Do") and juvenile ("Your Mother's Got a Penis").

The group's recently released debut, "Straight Outta Newport," is likely to be a hit in smoke-filled dorm rooms, which makes sense since the mates in GLC often rap (through thick Welsh accents) about their weed-smoking abilities.

All this nonsense had us intrigued, so we e-mailed founding member Mr. Love Eggs.

Are you high right now?

Ha! Yes!

Heads up: It's illegal to smoke marijuana in Chicago.

I heard rumors about that. I'm just going to avoid any bother and drink bottles of cough syrup instead. You can never be too sure of another country's customs and laws, so carrying any form of narcotic is a no-go area. The upside is that every developed country in the Western world sells cough syrup. There's nothing better than traveling the American highways smacked out on Night Nurse.

What's a Goldie Lookin Chain?

A chain made from any material other than gold. I got mine for three quid [$6]. Sometimes the "really good" goldie lookin' chains leave a green mark on your neck and stain your clothes.

Has GLC member Mystikal heard from the lawyers representing Jive Records' Mystikal yet?

I'm not sure how that's going to work out. Our Mystikal isn't too concerned since he's thinking of changing his name to David Bowie, anyway. It does have more of an edge.

Is Newport, Wales, the new Compton?

No, not really. There's never been a drive-by or anything like that, though if you walk down the street really late at night in the summer, you might see a hedgehog. They're cool-looking rodents with spikes on their backs--like a porcupine but smaller, and they eats snails. There is also a place in the South Wales Valleys called Wattsville. That sounds a bit like Watts. We never had any riots, though.

You opened for Snow Patrol. How'd that audience respond to Goldie Lookin Chain?

Some people held on to their faces like that crying person in that picture by Edvard Munch. You know, that one called "The Scream"? It was like Christmas on hard drugs, we had so much fun.

Matt McGuire is the metromix music producer. Originally published May 25, 2005.

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