April 04, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

When you’re a Welsh entertainer, it’s all about keeping up with the Joneses (Tom and Catherine Zeta-, that is). But Goldie Lookin Chain, in their quest to become the U.K. principality’s third-greatest export, are neither ”What’s New Pussycat”-ing nor Michael Douglas-ing their way to the top. Instead, the Newport-based hip-hop crew has quickly climbed the local musical ranks with their debut, Straight Outta Newport, full of strangely irresistible rhymes and dirt-cheap samples. Currently, GLC is gearing up to spread their manifesto across America (their album is out May 10), like so much gooey Marmite.

The group, whose recent highlights include ”Guns Don’t Kill People, Rappers Do” and ”Your Mother’s Got a Penis,” are the first to admit that their strands of yellowish ”bling” are, in fact, not too far removed from tarted-up tinfoil. ”They make the skin on your neck fall off,” de facto co-leader Mr. Love Eggs acknowledges in his Guinness-thick accent, ”and some of them give you green rings. It’s like a badge of pride, though.”

So LTT offered to take the eight-man outfit (minus The Maggot, unrousable from last night’s high jinks) on a mission to obtain chains of the 18k kind?a trip which proved very short. Disembarking in Brooklyn’s Fulton Street market, home to more hip-hop karats than Diddy’s Hamptons carry-on, the crew hoot like they’ve found the promised land. Alas, the four-digit price tags are well out of their range — which is okay with Xain: ”We’d have to be called just Goldie Chain then, wouldn’t we?”

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