No pyro, no party: for Bad Boy Chiller Crew, it’s a real state of mind. When the perfectly-timed drop hits on ‘Wasting Time’ – a vibrant, helium-inflated banger from their debut mixtape, ‘Disrespectful’ – it feels delirious and exultant, like getting caught in a thick fog of multi-coloured smoke bombs in a festival field, with your feet barely touching the ground.
In the world of this Bradford trio (MCs Kane, Clive and GK), chunky Fila trainers stomp along to booming bass, every DJ is considered an ancient deity, and all synth flourishes have to be sharp enough to pop a champagne cork. Their larger-than-life personalities and comedy chops are impossible to separate from their music – they all inform each other. And on ‘Disrespectful’, they’re typically unfiltered and proudly, performatively rowdy, boasting about never-ending benders (‘Free’) and “sold out shows, tryna shut down stages” (‘Come With Me’).
On rags-to-riches anthem ‘Bikes N Scoobys’, the beats are more playful and poppier than ever, but still anchored in rap and bassline staples – they’ll stay pinballing around in your head and roll off the tongue. Never lacking for charisma and attitude, the boys’ flows on ‘Footsteps On My Shoes’, meanwhile, are a whirlwind of bouncing, deliberately ridiculous animation (“I’m the G-O-A-T / Hot like page 3”) and quasi-aggression, smooth and biting.
But their audacious image and sound have advanced since the release of last year’s stellar ‘Charva Anthems’ EP, and its predecessor, 2020’s ‘Full Wack No Brakes’. ‘BMW’s cool electronic pulses and gently-sung verses, for example, offer an emotional texture that isn’t available when they are running through bars. Uplifting closer ‘Stick Around’ is an ode to leaving toxic relationships, buoyed by the sort of weepy, R&B ballad-style pianos that would make Boyz II Men proud. No, seriously.
Yet the mixtape faces an impossible task of keeping up the pace over a 19-track hike. It’s clear that the Crew aren’t in danger of running out of ideas, yet could do with a little quality control. ‘Get Out My Head’ and the unshakable, Top 40-charting ‘Don’t You Worry About Me’ have had their moment in the sun on previous releases – but have wormed their way onto this collection, too. In the streaming age, it’s certainly logical for the group to shoehorn their hits onto their first extended project, but it means that some of their new, equally high-octane material (‘The Things You Do’, ‘Take It’) gets lost in the mix.
But Bad Boy Chiller Crew clearly just want to keep make songs that purposefully and brilliantly celebrate the hedonistic corners of life – and that desire should be embraced. They locate their power not just in the recording booth, but on stage, the race track and the dancefloor, fully self-aware and seemingly unstoppable.
- Release date: February 18
- Record label: Relentless Records