Dispelling the Rumors: Pete & Bas the 70+ Grandfathers of UK Drill

Screenshot of Pete & Bas as seen from music video Old Estate.

Born and bred in South London, drill & grime duo Pete & Bas have been in and out of trouble since the baby boom of the 1950’s. In fact they’re older than hip-hop itself.

Pete & Bas are not your typical drill rappers. At first glance, you could be forgiven for completely writing them off. Who would have thought that these cockney men in their 70’s would be taking the UK’s drill and grime scene by storm?    

Pete & Bas are awash with rumors and controversy. In this article we aim to address some of them and shed light on their rise to the top.                                                                                                   

Who exactly are Pete & Bas?

The skeptics out there will say that they are nothing more than an act to grab attention, and we can see why because of the lack of information on them, and the fact they are well in to their 70’s. What we do know however is that both have worked pretty normal jobs before finding fame.

Bas

Screenshot of Bas as seen from Plugged In with Fumez The Engineer
Screenshot of Bas as seen from Plugged In with Fumez The Engineer

In previous interviews Bas has said that he did a stint in the Army as a helicopter engineer, and worked as a carpet salesman, before making a complete U-turn and opening up his own law firm. It’s also worth noting that Bas was an amateur actor back in the day with appearances in a few shorts films, which has been picked up and mentioned to discredit them many times.

Bas also spent time on cruise ships playing piano, and has released an album of piano music. It was through the piano that Bas was to meet Pete while teaching the keys in the back of a corner shop named Sindhuworld (more on this later).

Pete

Screenshot of Pete as seen from Plugged In with Fumez The Engineer
Screenshot of Pete as seen from Plugged In with Fumez The Engineer

Before introducing himself to Bas in Sindhuworld, Pete had been working for Westminster Council and the Royal Mail. It was Pete who originally discovered drill music through his granddaughter who would tune into drill and grime radio stations in his car.

At first Pete was frustrated and would repeatedly turn the stations back before giving up and listening, and becoming inquisitive and evidently introducing the genres to Bas.

Going off of the artist recommendations of Bas’ granddaughter, the duo fostered a growing appreciation for UK drill through the lyrical play, grimy beats, and storytelling aspects of the genre. They officially formed a duo as Pete & Bas in 2017 and subsequently released their debut single “Shut Ya Mouth.”

Pete & Bas rumors and mystery

Pete & Bas screenshot as seen from music video Speeding.
Pete & Bas screenshot as seen from music video Speeding.

There’s a lot of mixed information of who Pete & Bas are, where they come from and what their history is. On Reddit you can find feeds awash with rumors and mystery.

This falls right into place for Pete & Bas who have been quoted as saying that wouldn’t want it any other way.

Some of these rumors flying around include, “it’s not them rapping”. “They use ghostwriters”, and of course given the nature of drill and grime music, “they are not about that life”. Maybe the latter has an air of truth considering their age.

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Were they involved with bareknuckle boxing and the Kray twins?

For this rumor, we first have to take into consideration the era, and areas of London that Pete & Bas have, and still do frequent. These include the many areas of south London like Battersea, and the East End that include Brixton and Peckham which are well known for high levels of crime from as far back as the 50’s.

In fact, one such rumor is that the duo have been exposed to the notorious Richardson family and the Kray twins, which could have an air of authenticity due to Bas’ father running a Bareknuckle Boxing ring, which Bas has previously stated.

In all fairness, Pete & Bas both actually sound like old cockney men from the pits of London who happened to learn flow and lyrics to tell their story. Add to this their lyrical content, overall personal style, and popularity and you have a recipe for inquisitive minds that will question their credibility.

Do Pete & Bas write their own music?

Collage of music covers
Collage of music covers

For the most part yes.

The main question on people’s lips is how do they know so much about modern day slang. With lines like “Now, I don’t mean to be rude, but this party’s dead and I’m feeling wavey” and “I came from dirt and it all got dirty 30s, 2-2s, and 4-4s,” it’s hard not to question where they are learning the slang.

However, what many fail to realize is that most of their tracks use a lot of old school references and a combination of old cockney slang which they perfectly fuse with modern street slang.

The majority of their lyrical content is exactly what old head London gangsters would be saying, a great example of this comes from the track Old Estate with the line “Got an arsenal down in south, got a pig farm out in west, so just drop one text, fly down the M25 no stress.” If you have seen Guy Ritchie’s hit movie Snatch you will know the reference to pig farms.

Old Estate


Help from the grandchildren

Pete & Bas stand by the fact that they write their own songs, but have admitted that they get help from their grandchildren, which is fair considering the ever-changing aspects of drill music and the UK street slang, and let’s not forget these two are both in their 70’s. Honestly though, what popular artists nowadays don’t have a team around them?

At the end of the day Pete & Bas are entertaining, and bring a refreshing comedic effect to the serious nature of drill and grime music. If you didn’t know, both Pete & Bas do tour and perform live on a regular basis, while keeping a young and high energy crowd hyped up.

In fact in March 2024 the duo will be back on the road and once again hyping up the crowd with their impeccable bars, smooth flows, delivery, and a cadence that puts the younger generation of rappers to shame.

What is Sindhuworld?

Where it all started-Sindhuworld
Where it all started-Sindhuworld

In between selling loafs of bread, pints of milk, Pot Noodles, and Pete’s piano lessons, Sindhuworld – a corner shop based in London – had built up quite a following on Instagram. Their content ranged from the shops daily offerings to arm wrestling contests, shooting a music video featuring the shops elderly customers, and apprantally getting shut down by trading standards, for producing and selling homemade “health juice”.

Yeah, apparently selling and promoting on Instagram a homemade drink called Basil Juice is illegal, (who would’ve known) though hilarious none the less. The drink had no ingredients on the packaging, only a label picturing Bas himself along with a bagel and a watermelon.

Fast forward to 2024, Sindhuworld still seems to be closed down However, in true Sindhu fashion they are now better known for management and label services. They are the guys behind Pete & Bas, The Northern Boys, who are three other rapping pensioners and The Snooker Team, a combination of Pete & Bas and The Northern Boys.

Pete & Bas production value shoots up

Pete & Bas reaction

With popularity and sold out shows it’s a given that budgets will rise and high profile collaborations will come leading to higher production values.

The Pete & Bas’s turning point came about in 2021 when they murdered the mic on Plugged In, with Fumez The Engineer. The combination of Pete’s raspy voice and Bas’s deep voice and back and forth flow and delivery backed up by Fumez’s remixed version of Ready or Not by the Fugess had everyone in disbelief.

On the back of this performance came new fans and exposure, especially from the US, where popular YouTube music reaction channels, and bloggers including Logan and Jake Paul who reacted, commented and shared to their audience.

Pete & Bas an unrivalled energy and hustle

Aside from high quality productions, they have been extremely active in their releases over the past few years and bring an unrivalled energy and hustle that have seen them rack up millions of views and streams. It’s not just us hopping on the much-deserved hype train. The duo have been endorsed by some of the biggest acts in the game and are co-signed by Jaykae, Mist, D Double E, Dizzee Rascal, Giggs, Headie One and Dave

Pete & Bas show their versatility

Baddest

With more eyes on them from the 2021 turning point they have been heavily active in their releases dropping viral track after viral track and building up a solid social following. They’ve branched out and showed their versatility at the end of 2023 by jumping on Vibe Chemistry’s drum & bass track Baddest that featured other heavyweight UK artists Jaykae, Grima X Azza and P Money.

Whatever your thoughts on Pete & Bas you can’t deny the impact they are having on the UK drill and grime scene, and you know what, they are living their best lives. We just hope we have their energy and swag in our 70’s.

Pete & Bas Socials

Written by Ian Hinksman

Ian Hinksman is the co-founder of Underground Sound, an out-of-the-box writer, content creator and entrepreneur with a decade of experience in the music and events industries.

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