Blazin’ Squad are an English hip hop group. The group had seven top ten hits, including “Crossroads”, a cover version of the Bone Thugs-n-Harmony original. Jon O’Brien of AllMusic called them the “Self-proclaimed pioneers of ‘chav’ culture.”
The band released a cover of the Bone Thugs-N-Harmony song “Crossroads” as their debut single in August 2002, reaching #1 on the UK Singles Chart. The song was highly re-recorded and hardly contained any lyrics of the original. The single was heavily criticised by the media, some of whom claimed their rap skills were ‘not to be taken seriously’, and others sidelining them to a younger audience. Despite this, however, their debut album, In the Beginning achieved gold status in the UK and spawned two further top ten hits, “Love on the Line” and double A-side single, “Reminisce/Where the Story Ends”. The album was released to general critical censure.
The group went on to achieve further chart success in 2003, with two further top five chart hits. “We Just Be Dreamin'” reached number three in July 2003, and “Flip Reverse”, written by former member Liam D’Souza, reached number two in November. “Flip Reverse” was subsequently used to re-launch Top of the Pops, with a special performance recorded outside the BBC Television Centre with 100 or so hooded back-up dancers. Despite the chart success of their singles, the group failed to match their success with their second album, Now or Never, only peaking at #36 on the UK Albums Chart. A live recording of a concert in Liverpool was released on DVD for Christmas 2003 but failed to achieve any commercial success. It also failed to re-ignite the low sales of the album. The band soon attempted an eleventh-hour revival of their career, adding new member Joe-E to the group, and using their previous album track, “Here 4 One”, as his first single. The song peaked at number six during early 2004, but failed to be strong enough to warrant a third album deal.
In 2005, Strider, Flava and Kenzie signed a record deal with Polydor records, and began recording an album under the name Friday Hill, named after a location in their hometown in Chingford. In October 2005, the group released their début single, “Baby Goodbye”, which reached #5 in the UK Singles Chart, selling over 80,000 copies. In February 2006, they released a second single, “One More Night Alone”, which reached #13 on the UK Singles Chart. Their album, entitled Times Like These, was also released in February 2006, but only peaked at #67 on the UK Albums Chart, and such, were soon dropped from their label. In July 2006, Rocky-B, Reepa, Spike-E, Melo-D and MC Vyper (formerly Danny-B) made an announcement that they were going to reform as Blazin’ Squad, and record and release a new album under Peach Records. They released a single, “All Night Long”, in August 2006, however, it only peaked at #54, which resulted in their record deal being scrapped and a further disbandment.