Young T & Bugsey

Selected by: James Keith

Name: Young T & Bugsey

Where They’re From: Nottingham

When They Started: 2008 (Young T) / 2011 (Bugsey)

Genre: UK rap

File Next To: Aitch, MoStack, Avelino, J Hus

Sounds Like: “Super-jiggy raps with a melodic groove.”

First Music That Inspired Them: Young T: “I remember mine was Sisqo’s ‘Thong Song’.” Bugsey: “I think it was either 50 Cent’s ‘Piggy Bank’ or Chipmunk’s ‘Who Are You?’”

If, for some reason, you’ve yet to jump aboard the Young T & Bugsey hype train, let us break it down for you. To say the pair have had a meteoric couple of years would be an understatement. Their combination of underground credibility and chart-conquering hooks has made them a force to be reckoned with in the UK rap game. The signature hit that put them on the map was, of course, 2016’s “Glistenin”, which was essentially a mission statement that cracked the code for their subsequent success. It has so far enjoyed over a million views on YouTube, consistent radio play and would set the stage for their repeated chart invasions.

That success would be quickly followed with just about all of their subsequent singles—“4x4”, “Greenlight”, “Ay Caramba”, “En Route”, “Strike A Pose”, and the rest—all of which have comfortably notched up several million views on YouTube each and earned them chart and radio success. This almost unparalleled run of hits has no doubt buoyed their confidence—and rightly so. That ever-increasing confidence in their own abilities seems to be feeding right back into their creativity. Whether it’s the funk guitar licks of “Again” or the boat party melodies of “Strike A Pose”, each new track displays an adventurousness and an understanding of what makes a hit that’s often lacking in their rivals.

To get an idea of why the Nottingham pair have dominated the rap scene so heavily, the answer can be found in their upbringing. Growing up, Young T tells us his house was filled with the sounds of old-school R&B, hip-hop and dancehall, while Bugsey was raised on Fela Kuti, Lagbaja, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent and a “sprinkle of gospel.” Given the eclectic and expansive range of music filling their minds in those formative years, it really is no wonder the pair have such a fundamental understanding of how to make music that connects so well without sacrificing their underground credentials.

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Posted on June 26, 2019