I Got Rat Boy’s Teenage Fans to Give Me Style Tips
"I don’t know why your jumper is so fluffy. I’m not into it."
All photography by Jake Lewis
Rat Boy is very cool. After being hired and swiftly fired from Wetherspoons upon graduating from college, the Essex-born skater boy – real name Jordan Cardy – decided to put out a mixtape on Soundcloud, and the rest is the best thing to happen to spoken-word indie since Jamie T released Panic Prevention in 2007. The mixtape quickly found its way to Babyshambles bassist Drew McDonnell, who signed him and his band immediately. Now, despite being only 22 (yeah he’s literally 22), Rat Boy has already been sampled by Kendrick Lamar on Damn, supported Liam Gallagher on tour and released four EPs and an album, Scum, with another out next year.
His self-directed music videos often feature him and his band getting up to the usual suburban teen shenanigans: stealing cars, riding bikes, skating and destroying public property. The difference is that Rat Boy does all this while decked out like a living Depop feed: lots of Supreme box logos, long sleeve tees, and Burberry check. His latest video for “Chip on My Shoulder” sees him and his mates skating around LA in a flurry of blue hair, bucket hats and Palace. Factoring in the nose ring and his Fucking Awesome hoodie which I too own, we... have a very similar wardrobe. This surely must mean I am very cool, or at least look like it.
But... do I really, though? Everyone thinks they dress good, don't they, because otherwise they'd all dress differently. Maybe I need to consult someone who knows. Maybe they could give me some style tips. And so, I decided to head down to the Rat Boy London show at Electric Ballroom on Sunday 18 November, and talk to those who truly know what is cool and what is not: his teenage fans.
Matt and Alex, both 16
Noisey: Hi guys, you look like some cool teens. What do you think of my outfit?
Alex: Okay [long pause]. I like the jumper, but I think the shoes are a bit boring to be honest. But I like the denim on top of the jumper.
If you had to change one thing about it what would it be?
Alex: I like the style of the shoe but I'd maybe go for something a bit bolder… maybe something orange to go with the orange detailing on your jumper.
That's a good shout. What do you think Alex?
Matt: I think the cargo pants go well with the top, but you could use some more exciting footwear.
Noisey: Hi! What do you think of what I'm wearing?
Ciara: I like it.
What, everything? If you could change one thing about it what would it be?
Ciara: Nothing. It's a great outfit.
Katie, Will, Julianna, Grace and Finn, all 16
Noisey: Hi guys! There are a lot of #looks going on here between you all. Can you judge my outfit for me please?
Katie: I'm loving the Vans, always loving Vans. Show me the trousers? Lift your legs up! Yeah I like them, I feel like I need a pair but I need to get measured.
I actually just got these tailored, I think they're the first trousers I have ever owned that fit me. It's an incredible feeling.
Will: I think you need some orange. Does your jacket have an inside pocket?
No I don't think so....
Katie: Yeah, I think the pocket on your fleece should be orange and the logo should be green.
Grace: It needs orange somewhere else to like bring it all together, otherwise you're too green.
Okay cool I'll take that up with Nike when I get home.
Will: Your hair looks cool as well.
Finn: You could do with some orange socks or something.
More orange; got it. Thanks guys!
Freya and Alice, both 16, Angela, 17
Noisey: Hi ladies. What’s your favourite part of my outfit?
Freya: Your jacket.
What’s your least favourite bit?
Alice: Maybe the orange colour.
Angela: No I like that bit, I like the top.
Freya: I don’t *not* like it...
And if you could give me some style advice?
Alice: Maybe a different bag? A bumbag would look better.
*Both nod in agreement*
Thank you for your honesty.
Teed and Jasper, both 16
Noisey: Hi guys! What do you think of what I’m wearing tonight?
Jasper: I like it.
I was hoping to get roasted a bit more, but everyone seems to like my outfit.
Teed: Well… there isn’t much colour.
Jasper: I don’t know why your jumper is so fluffy. I’m not into it. I’m not sure about the green and orange together.
Teed: It’s a bit Halloweeny.
I’m a big fan of Halloween, so I’ll take that. If you could change one thing about it what would it be?
Jasper: Probably the jumper. I don’t like it.
Teed: The jacket.
Jasper: No, I like the jacket! Get rid of the jumper.
Teed: But if she wasn’t wearing that jumper she’d just look like any other 16-year-old?
Wait... how old do you think I am?
Teed: No, we know you’re not 16! But that’s what you would look like.
Maude and Harvey, both 16
Noisey: What do you think of what I’m wearing? Do I look okay?
Maude: Yeah, it’s nice.
What’s your favourite part?
Maude: I really like your trousers.
Harvey: The jacket.
If you could change one thing what would it be?
Both: Your jumper.
Maude: To be honest, your hair is the best thing.
Thanks, you’re very kind.
In conclusion: The Teens are big into colour-coordinating, and are not into the Sherpa fleece look. Noted.