Wexford rappers ‘branded as conspiracy theorists’ as debut EP offers cynical take on vaccination programme
They may have been cancelled by some media outlets, branded conspiracy theorists by others, but this hasn’t stopped Wexford rap duo The Ballyboyz from releasing their debut EP, Mass Psychosis. A collaboration with Mullingar artist, Scally, Mass Psychosis was recorded during the pandemic and, in Scally’s words, is “our take on all the Covid hysteria from 2020 to the middle of 2022”.
That take has led to the first single from the album, Waiting Room, receiving a mixed reception from at least one local radio station.
“Despite the online algorithms suppressing our social media posts by up to 90 per cent, Waiting Room racked up over 50,000 plays across all digital platforms in its first week,” say The Ballyboyz, who comprise of Ballywilliam brothers Stevie and Dylan Murphy “KCLR was one of the few radio stations to play it but the track was also ‘mysteriously’ pulled 20 seconds in with the presenter laughing and claiming we had been cancelled. It was played later on in the show with the intro and first 20 seconds cut off; the intro features soundbites from Bill Gates and Leo Varadkar.”
Featuring verses on the government’s vaccination programme, the impacts of lockdown, and the messages emanating from the mainstream media, Mass Psychosis “injects cynical drops of satire and hard hitting humour” on sensitive and contentious issues that “no other Irish artists dare to touch upon” say the band.
The introduction of Scally has led to a fusion in sounds, The Ballyboyz hip-hop roots blending with the Mullingar rockers’ style to create a genre all of its own.
“This body of work we’ve put together is a proper feel good buzz, it’s a blend of hip-hop beats and punk samples and guitars,” says Scally. “During Covid, myself and The Ballyboyz were branded as conspiracy theorists for some of the things we were saying about the pandemic but as time has moved on many more people agree with us and what was once conspiracy is now being published in the mainstream as fact.
“We put all of this in the EP but we also injected lots of humour into it as well so it’s fun, rebellious and uplifting. Some people have been comparing it to some of Eminem Slim Shady era stuff and Fatboy Slim as well so turn it up loud, see for yourself.”
Dylan, aka Dee The Anti-Social, echoes these themes. “We’re excited to put this record out into the world, we’re really proud with what we’ve created with Scally, bringing our hip-hop sound and fusing it with his punk rock sound. People have been saying the single had an Eminem Slim Shady vibe to it, there’s a public service announcement skit brought to you by the HSE and another hard hitting tune called Killing The Nation which tells you what we think about the TDs whilst making you wanna dance to the psychedelic hacienda guitar groove. It’s the best thing we’ve ever made.”