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The Yardies

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Jeremy: Or I could shoot Martin, or I could hire some yardies to shoot Martin.
Mark: Jeremy, the yardies aren't going to solve all your problems. Why do you always think that the yardies are the answer to everything?
Jeremy: [thinking] The yardies will help me. I just need to get a number for the yardies.

Gangbangers... FROM ENGLAND! Catch-all term for black gangsters in United Kingdom settings, although it originally applied to groups from the British West Indies (specifically Jamaica). The name comes from the common area courtyards found in Trenchtown, the impoverished housing project in West Kingston, Jamaica. While the term was originally used for all residents of Trenchtown, it later applied only to the large number of criminals and gang members that also lived there.

Nowadays Yardies come from all backgrounds as immigration policies have allowed people of all walks of life the opportunity to come to England and live in low-income neighbourhoods. See Gangbangers for their American counterparts and Japanese Delinquents for their Japanese counterpart.


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    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Hood Trilogy has Big Bad Uncle Curtis, complete with accent.
  • Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels has Rory Breaker's gang, which are a classier and more sharply-dressed flavor of Yardie.
  • Specifically referred to in Snatch. when one character refers to minor character Lincoln as "A bad boy yardie". Lincoln seems to fall under the heading of the term being a catch-all for any black gangster.
  • Arguably most of the main characters from Kidulthood and the sequel Adulthood, particularly Curtis.
  • One of the gangs in Love Honour And Obey.
  • Marked for Death features Screweyes, a murderous Jamaican gangster and possible voodoo user as the Big Bad, and the only character in the film to actually pose a challenge to Steven Seagal.
  • In Predator 2, the streets of Los Angeles are torn apart by the rivalry of the Jamaican Voodoo Posse, led by King Willie, and the Colombians, led by El Scorpio. The Voodoo Posse are pretty Ruthless Foreign Gangsters, as we see when they're ritualistically disembowelling someone who owes King Willie, and they're known to practice Hollywood Voodoo. That said, King Willie himself is Affably Evil and willing to help Lieutenant Harrigan with finding the perpetrator of the murders carried out in the streets. He's also most likely a case of Asskicking Leads to Leadership, because when the Predator comes for him, he puts up a good enough fight with his Sword Cane that after the Predator kills him, it keeps his head as a trophy, which it would only do if he was a Worthy Opponent.
  • The heroes in Attack the Block are a youth street gang that includes a variety of races.
  • The Other Guys opens with a small band of Yardie drug dealers being chased by Officers Highsmith and Danson through the streets of New York. Highsmith and Danson cause millions of dollars in property damage arresting the Yardies, who only had a small level of marijuana on them, but in their defense, the Yardies were carrying military-grade machine guns.
  • iBoy: The professional British gangsters are mainly black or Pakistani, although they're led by a white London Gangster.
  • Yardie 2018, directed by Idris Elba, is based on the below-mentioned book, concerning a young Jamaican man called Dennis who ends up getting drawn into a gang war between white Jamaican expat drug lord Rico and his Parental Substitute King Fox, who raised him ever since his brother Jerry Dread got killed at a concert supposed to unite the people of Kingston.

  • Ranulph Fiennes wrote The Sett, which is set amongst the Yardie drug wars of the 1980s.
  • In Anansi Boys, Fat Charlie's neighbors think he is a yardie after he gets taken to jail because Coats frames him for siphoning money from client accounts.
  • Yardie, appropriately enough.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Bill
  • Jeremy in Peep Show is chided by Mark for thinking that all of his problems could be solved hiring Yardies to do some dirty work.
  • Silent Witness.
  • The Fast Show did a series of sketches involving members of the gentry acting out regional identities. One of these involved a yardie man from Kingston (Kingston-upon-Thames, that is).
  • Luke Cage: Neville Barnwell, one of the gangsters that Diamondback kills when he crashes a secret meeting of Harlem's crime lords, is said to be the leader of a Harlem chapter of the Yardies.
    • A group of them become more prominent in season 2. Known as the Stylers, the gang is led by Bushmaster, who is one of the main villains of the season.
  • Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere: Raymond the Bastard, who Max and Paddy meet in prison, is possibly a Yardie. He's a Scary Black Man with a Jamaican accent, who forces the lads to give him a share of the (fictional) money they claim to have stolen in exchange for treating them well. He's also a Depraved Homosexual who first corners the boys in the prison showers, but doesn't actually rape them.
  • Top Boy: Being set in the UK, many of the characters are of Jamaican descent and numerous gangs are composed of them. There's also Sugar, who is a Jamaican kingpin and has yardie gangsters working for him.

    Video Games 

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Yardies are one of the nastier criminal groups you can run afoul of in Shadowrun. The Mafia and Yakuza at least have some rules of engagement. They're made up primarily of orks and trolls, in large part because other metatypes can't survive their brutal initiation ritual (the initiate is surrounded and beaten on for several minutes, during which time they're not allowed to defend themselves in any way). Other metatypes just aren't tough enough handle the beating.

    Web Videos 
  • Diary of a Bad Man features elements of this trope, except most of the street gangs are prominently British Southern Asians.


Video Example(s):


The Sons of Samedi

They are an American take on the typical Caribbean street gangs, though the rank and file are college-age street kids who are simply duped and doped into the Hollywood Voodoo schtick.

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