The rise of UK rap has been an ongoing conversation for the past seven years, but the introduction of Afroswing and Afro-bashment has been a welcomed change to the scene. Young T & Bugsey, the voices behind the song “Don’t Rush,” have captured lightning in the bottle thanks to their crossover hit being turned into a viral video challenge. After being shortlisted for the MTV PUSH: Ones to Watch in 2019, the duo continued to drop hit after hit after hit.
From the summer anthem “Strike A Pose” featuring Aitch to their breakout single “Glistenin,” Young T & Bugsey have encroached on American mainstream acceptance with “Don’t Rush.” The fan favorite song has stayed in the charts for weeks since its release back in November, capitalizing with the popular #DontRushChallenge. The viral sensation has connected people of all ages and backgrounds while lifting the spirits of millions and millions of quarantined internet users. While you may find yourself enjoying the popular TikTok videos, take some time out to learn more about the artists behind the hit song.
Young T and Bugsey Are Two Of Nottingham’s Finest
Most people are familiarizing themselves with the British hip-hop duo thanks to the popularity of the #DontRushChallenge, but those in England have been loving Young T and Bugsey since their teenage years. Having met at age 15, the two linked up due to their respective hype on separate sides of Nottingham.
They began as part of a collective before zoning in on their chemistry as a tandem. “We each bring something to the table that the other maybe wouldn’t,” said Bugsey in a 2017 chat with FACT Mag. “We’re very different in a lot of ways but in other ways exactly the same. And we’ve grown up together from there.”
They Are Stormzy and J Hus Approved
Their debut studio album, Plead the 5th, has taken off behind the growing wave of Afrobeat-inspired subgenres such as Afroswing and Afro-bashment. After releasing a successful string of singles, the duo was signed to Black Butter Records, a popular label that is behind pioneering rapper J Hus. At his urging, Young T and Bugsey were brought on board and joined the lineage of GoldLink, Take A Daytrip, and Swarmz, as one of the most exciting new talent in ages.
In that same 12 month span, Stormzy, 2020’s Brit Awards winner of Best British Male Solo Artist, saw the vision and co-signed Young T and Busey and the impulsive way they created their sound. While on tour in 2017, Stormzy pulled up into the duo’s hometown of Nottingham, where he stepped aside to let them perform “Gangland,” which turned the venue into a shout-along frenzy. “We’re just gonna make sure the next couple of singles we drop are just bangers,” Young T said to FACT Mag.
Young T and Bugsey Did Not Create the #DontRushChallenge
The #DontRushChallenge has been on timelines and Instagram feeds for the past few weeks now, but don’t let Toluwalase Asolo hear you say that. The 20-year-old business management student at the University of Hull has been playing Plead the 5th since its release last November. In a moment of boredom due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Asolo tweeted a clip of her performing the video with seven of her girlfriends, with the caption, “The boredom jumped out.”
In an article on Teen Vogue, Asolo and her homegirls changed looks and seamlessly passed around a makeup brush used as a metaphorical baton. The one minute and 26-seconds video would clock in over 2 million views and become the highly imitated trend we see go from highlighting togetherness amongst Africans to celebrating Hispanic pride to championing young Black and Brown excellence with ease.
On March 22, Asolo, a 20-year-old business management student at the University of Hull, tweeted a clip with the caption, “The boredom jumped out.” To the song of “Don’t Rush” by U.K. rap duo Young T and Bugsey, she and her seven girlfriends changed looks seamlessly while passing around a makeup brush used as a metaphorical baton. This one minute and 26-second video would go on to amass 2 million views and become the popular #DontRushChallenge.
“Don’t Rush” Was Inspired By Ibiza Videos
Produced by Grades (Lana Del Rey, Detour City) and featuring Headie One, “Don’t Rush” was made with festival season, good vibes, and great energy in mind. “This one’s about a lit club night,” Bugsey shared in an album breakdown with Complex. “Everyone loves a lit night out so, with ‘Don’t Rush’, we’re basically saying don’t rush the night, just enjoy getting lit.” With Grades’ Afro-dance beat playing on repeat in the studio, the jam was stuck in their heads and left an imprint while getting ready to go abroad. “This song was a result of us watching loads of Ibiza videos.”
Coronavirus Doesn’t Phase Them At All
The global pandemic has changed how we live our lives and enjoy the pleasurable things in life. But, for Young T and Bugsey, who have escaped their fair share of traumas at an early age, the COVID-19 crisis is not something to be too annoyed about. “The virus is gonna affect our release parties, our tour, [and] a lot of content we were gonna make with people in our scene,” said Bugsey last month in a conversation with the UK’s Evening Standard. “It’s like we’re in a movie right now. But you can’t really be mad. We’re all experiencing the same thing. There’s no one to point the finger at, it’s just happening. We’re not too annoyed about it.”
Listen to “Don’t Rush” below.