Take a breather, BTS. Bye-bye, Miami Boys Choir. There’s a new boy band in town, and it’s made up of three old British men doing U.K. drill rap about the regrets and disappointments of their troubled lives. On September 15, a mysterious music video appeared on YouTube with the caption, “Norman and Patrick have made a song.” It’s called “Party Time,” except in the music video itself it’s called “Northern Boy.” Whatever it’s called, it’s a certified banger (and mash). In the video, the Northern Boys are on a muddy dirt road delivering disarmingly frank, funny lyrics about sex, drugs, partying, and the crippling mental-health issues stemming from repressed white English masculinity. Oh, and it’s set to a karaoke track of “American Boy.” Fun!
This would all be standard issue rappin’ granny gimmickry if Norman and Patrick didn’t have bars, but every line is more surprising than the last. Their flow is aggressively confident and utterly sad-sack at the same time. But who are these Northern Boys? Norman Pain is a self-described “rrrratchet guy” and “ugly mole” who’s “not used to these kind of mental-health issues, I just wanna live in a church and find peace upon me brain!” Patrick Karneigh Jr. is “a dirty wretched man” whose wife makes him sleep outside. And Kevin (no last name) is a chiller who’s just there to bring good vibes and do simple choreo with his boys.
While to some this might appear to have sprung out of nowhere, both Pain and Karneigh Jr. have appeared on Pete & Bas tracks, another duo that came onto the rap scene in 2017 who BBC has called “the grandfathers of U.K. drill” because they only got started in their 70s. Hopefully these guys are just getting started, too, because we don’t want “Party Time” to end. We’re gonna need the full mixtape to make this season a true Northern Boy autumn.