Goldie Lookin Chain

Straight Outta Newport

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Culled from five self-released albums that the band sold itself on CD-R, Straight Outta Newport is the first proper Goldie Lookin Chain album, and that's probably the first time "proper" and "Goldie Lookin Chain" have appeared together in a sentence. These eight rapping yobs are proud do-nothing, hedonist druggies who give Jay-Z nothing to worry about, let alone the Beastie Boys. But you didn't come here for the skills, did you? When it comes to getting the rebellious party started for the suburban hoody set, Goldie Lookin Chain bring it, as long as you can decipher all the Brit slang, references, and the heavy, heavy accents. Hilarious in any dialect, the "Guns Don't Kill People, Rappers Do" single is the reason the U.K. went nuts for these guys, and with lyrics like "Ask any politician and they'll tell you it's true" and "Guns blazin' like Michael Caine in Zulu," it's easy to see why. Don't worry about GLC being a one-hit wonder, "You Knows I Loves You" ("I'm gonna make you sweat/Like a pig sweats on a hot day") and "Your Mother's Got a Penis" -- which samples Greg Phillinganes' "Behind the Mask" of all things -- are worthy follow-ups. Member Eggsie delivers the album's fourth highlight, "Half Man, Half Machine," but this is where Straight Outta Newport becomes more of an Anglophile affair. Eggsie dreams of being half-robot, but you have to know his character to really benefit. Brits do, because Goldie Lookin Chain has made numerous appearances on the "telly," and Straight Outta Newport does seem to play off an established image rather than set one. You can figure it all out through references, a helpful lyric sheet, and some Internet searches, but isn't that a lot of effort for something purposefully trashy and throwaway? Maybe, but the music is well built with clever samples ("Self Suicide"'s use of the theme from An Elephant Called Slowly might just beat the Phillinganes copping), their proposal that the absurd roller disco craze wouldn't have happened had marijuana been more available, and the boys' dumber-than-Ali G stance is endearing for folks with a bit of slacker in them. Highly recommended for anyone who spells "color" with a "u" and worth checking out for everybody else with an "I'll stick it to the man once I'm done getting stoned and playing Xbox" attitude. [In a strange move that seems to play up the British-ness of the album, Straight Outta Newport is the American title of the U.K. release Greatest Hits. The music portion is exactly the same, but Straight Outta Newport does add some multimedia content and has entirely different artwork.]

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