Bad Credit was a group of white-guy rappers who write songs about financial matters. They thrived at local clubs from 2002 to 2008. Guitarist/bassist Sean O'Donnell also played with Reeve Oliver. The band was nominated for a 2003 San Diego Music Award as Best Hip-Hop.
“Bad Credit was a tough sell, it was so different,” says Dallas McLaughlin (aka Dr. Cliff Mixtable). He, O'Donnell, and Matt Gorney (aka Optimus Rime) created a Beastie Boys–like romp with their song “Bill Gates Owes Me Five Bucks” to create an over-the-top send-up about American greed. Members took on other gag names such as Foot, Mr. Mapoji, Q-Pon, Dolla Bill, etc.
McLaughlin admits “You had to put yourself out there and be prepared to have anything thrown back at you. It gave me the balls to get up onstage and trust that I could make people laugh. People looked at us as a joke. We were looking at it as a party.”
McLaughlin got the whole punk thing, but... “We weren’t just anarchist punk kids. We wanted to screw with people.”
Their local success led to them playing on tours with the Aquabats, the ska band that dressed like superheroes for The Aquabtas! Super Show! on the Hub network. McLaughlin ended up writing animated segments for the show, as well as contributing music to Nickelodeon’s Yo Gabba Gabba, which was co-created by the Aquatbats’ Christian Jacobs.
“It’s the second most popular kids’ show in America,” says McLaughlin.
McLaughlin’s Bad Credit bombast also led to him creating a stand-up act that led him to performing regularly in San Diego, L.A., and Vegas.