encore introducing...'rat boy'

Name: Rat Boy
Genre: Grime~Punk//Hip-hop
For Fans Of: SLAVES, Mike Skinner, Jamie T
Location: Essex

There's a sort of 'hip-hop' renaissance taking place across the UK at the minute. Whilst America has always seemed content with it's Kanye's and it's Biggie's, (big names with bigger attitudes), the British fast-talking enthusiasts of this world have always been a tad understated. Be it songs about life's perpetual pointlessness, political grievances or popping pills in a Birmingham nightclub (See "A Grand Don't Come For Free"), on this side of the pond we seem to think deeper and keep things much small scale. Even when tracing it back to Arctic Monkey's groundbreaking debut 'Whatever People...' (heavily influenced by UK garage//grime), it seems we'd rather sing along to the sound of a fight in a taxi rank, than rich blokes sipping champagne in a Jacuzzi. This, is where 19 year old Jordan Cardy comes in.

Fresh onto the grime scene, Essex born Cardy, known as 'Rat Boy', takes that authentic UK hip-hop sound and smothers it in optimism. Rat Boy's latest single, 'Sign On', is a crescendo of electric guitar, melody and a flow so uplifting it makes the dole queue seem almost attractive. Yet disguised within the happy-go lucky nature of Cardy's songwriting lies some pretty tragic truths that will no doubt strike a chord with more than one British teen.

A match made in heaven? Rat Boy & Morrissey
"It won't be long before I sign on, is it right or is it wrong, all my money it's all gone...young, dumb, living off mum, waiting for the right time to come"

It's this happy//sad dynamic which is perhaps his greatest strength. There's a beautiful irony about sounding so triumphant in a shit situation.

Rather brilliantly, Rat Boy lists his only influence as Morrissey; perhaps our greatest maudlin songwriter ever. Knowing that Salford's most famous lad spent many a year signing on, how amazing a moment would it be to see him cover Rat Boy's ode to the economically challenged? Or better yet, a grime version of 'This Charming Man'...stranger things have happened!

Now signed to Parlophone Records, it may be a while yet before you see Rat Boy down your local benefits office. The future looks bright.

Taylor Johnson

Check out the video for Rat Boy's latest single 'Sign On' below⁞►

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