Bad Boys
by Stormzy (featuring J Hus)

Album: Gang Signs & Prayer (2017)
Charted: 22
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Songfacts®:

  • This both samples and features Stormzy's fellow MC Ghetts. East Londoner Ghetts, who appeared alongside Stormzy on Star.One's all-star remix of Raleigh Ritchie's "The Greatest," raps the second verse. Stormzy told Fader:

    "I've been a Ghetts fan since I can remember. I'm very uptempo; I don't really like slow beats, so every time I went to write to this one, it was like I'd got this Ghetts attitude in my head — like I was carrying Ghetts's spirit. I'd use my voice to be more high-pitched and more sharp. I was thinking, Nah, I've got to get the actual Ghetts on this! I wanted a legendary, old-school Ghetts verse to just come and f--k this up."
  • The introduction samples a famous clash between Ghetts and Bashy, taken from a Streetz Incarcerated DVD produced in the early noughties. Ghetts had just been released from Feltham Young Offenders Institution and the teen took offense when Bashy speculated that he'd been abused in prison. He retaliated by shouting, "Where's Carlos? Ask him!"

    "Ask Carlos" became something of a meme in the grime community after the release of the DVD. His identity was unknown until Ghetts explained in a 2014 Not for the Radio interview that they were holed up in adjacent cells at Feltham.
  • J Hus croons the hook. Stormzy explained: "J Hus is one of the greatest musicians in the country. Hus is an artist who, like myself, is comfortable outside of his comfort zone, and sometimes he performs even better outside of his comfort zone.

    'Bad Boys' ain't no normal Hus party banger, this is dark - more in Ghetts's lane. But I knew - that's gonna be the reason Hus sounds sick on it. I just added up the ingredients for a mad recipe."

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