|Also known as||Blazin' Squad (2001–05, 2009)
Friday Hill (2005–06)
|Origin||Chingford, London, England|
|Years active||2001–06, 2009|
|Labels||East West (2001–05, 2009)
|Associated acts||5th Story|
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."
In The Beginning: 2002
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.
Now or Never: 2003–2004
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 Brad Webb, 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.
Friday Hill and Times Like These: 2005–2006
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, staying in the Top 10 for over a month and 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.
Greatest Hits: 2009
In June 2009, five members of the group released their comeback single, "Let's Start Again". The single fared slightly better than the previous single but could only peak at #51 on the UK Singles Chart. Despite their record label wanting to drop them following the lack of success of the single, they had signed a binding contract to release an album. The label issued a Greatest Hits compilation via digital download and thereby ended the contract with the group.
At varying times band members have included Kenzie, Oliver Georgiou known as Freek, Marcel Somerville known as Rocky B Plat'num, Chris McKeckney known as Melo-d, Stuart Baker known as Reepa, Lee Bailey known as Krazy, Sam Foulkes known as Spike-e James Murray known as Flava, Tom Beasley known as Tommy-B, Mustafa Omer known as Strider and Mike Morris known as Barcode 
|In the Beginning||33||—|
|Now or Never||
|Times Like These
(as Friday Hill)
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|2002||"Crossroads"||1||82||13||In the Beginning|
|"Love on the Line"||6||—||28|
|2003||"Reminisce / Where the Story Ends"||8||—||28|
|"We Just Be Dreamin'"||3||75||31||Now or Never|
|2004||"Here 4 One"||6||—||18|
|2005||"Baby Goodbye" (as Friday Hill)||5||—||—||Times Like These|
|2006||"One More Night Alone" (as Friday Hill)||13||—||—|
|"All Night Long"||54||—||—||Greatest Hits|
|2009||"Let's Start Again"||51||—||—|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
- Williams, Alun (30 November 2002). "The beginning or end of Blazin' Squad?". BBC. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
- Simpson, Dave (22 November 2002). "Blazin' Squad: In the Beginning". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
- "The Games silver medallist and pop star reveals how the reality show turned his life around". The Herald. Glasgow. 10 July 2006. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
- "Remember Blazin Squad? Here's what they look like now – including Marcel Somerville, star of Love Island 2017". thesun.co.uk. The Sun. 24 July 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
- O'Brien, Jon
.Blazin' Squad. allmusic.com
- "Official Charts: Blazin' Squad". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
- "Die ganze Musik im Internet: German Charts – Albums". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
- "BPI Searchable Database". British Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
- "Die ganze Musik im Internet Charts – German Singles". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
- "irishcharts.com – Discography Blazin' Squad". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2011.