Sunday, 6 April 2014

New Music: Serious Thugs

Enter Serious Thugs: the latest and greatest contribution to the discussion on the low/high art distinction. Possibly. The group, which consists of William E. Wright (aka Yung Willuminati), Alis Pelleschi (aka 3D Slut) and DJ Warlord, have released two tracks thus far in "Link Ting (Other Girls)" and "Ur Not a Baller". An initial glance may indicate that Serious Thugs merely appropriate "chav" culture, just as Sadboys and Gravity Boys have aped the fashion of their favourite rappers. Much like their Swedish contemporaries, however, there's more to ST than meets the eye; this isn't so much appropriation as it is fetishisation, and while it would be easy to dismiss as mere irony/click-bait fodder, there appears to be a genuine appreciation of so-called low culture at work here: fake Air Max, chains, Rubicon and Burberry lingerie all feature in the video for "Ur Not a Baller".

The comparison to the y[o]ung Swedes could be further extended to the music itself; Serious Thugs are to grime and UK bass/funky what Sadboys/Gravity Boys are to cloud rap, with a sound that captures the strange saccharine urbanness of 3 Of A Kind, and more recently Sophie's anthem "Bipp" (one of my favourite tracks of last year, I should add). Whether it was their intention or otherwise, Serious Thugs have crafted a potent mixture of yesteryear's [un]fashion and hypermodern, ultra-slick pop, and I cannot wait to see what they come up with next. Watch "Link Ting (Other Girls)" and "Ur Not a Baller" below, and keep an eye out for ICE ARENA, their forthcoming album.

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