Sunday, December 8, 2013

"The Great Hip Hop Hoax" DVD (director: Jeanie Finlay)

California skate rap from Scottish blokes

Another excellent documentary that I'm glad to have seen, "The Great Hip Hop Hoax" is a fascinating look at the Scottish hip hop duo, Silibil 'N Brains, who got themselves signed to Sony UK only after posing as American street hip hop MCs (after a devastating audition where label heads dismissed them as "rapping Proclaimers"). So, with fake accents and artificial "street cred", these pasty Scottish boys ended up making mad money, seeing big city lights and even garnering MTV airplay as "the next Eminem". Then it all came tumbling down as fast as it started, after a hailstorm of drinking, partying, and womanizing (naturally).

Interviews with both members, their families, and the record executives that landed them are enlightening, detailing the way that Silibil (real name Billy Boyd) and Brains (aka Gavin Bain) began their great hoax. Their California-boy, skate-punk, street-thug mentality convinced even those close to them, and it's a credit to Boyd and Bain's acting skills that they could take things that far. 

A great tale, and a weird kind of "success story", calling out the major labels on such a bluff. Sure, the boys are still around -- Bain still performs his own brand of hip-hop/rock as Hopeless Heroic, while Boyd got married, had children, and now works in the oil industry. 

A superb documentary, and a story for the ages.

No comments: