The Great Hip-Hop Hoax

Laddiez ’N’ The Hood

Like the true life story itself, this top wee film ’The Great Hip Hop Hoax’ (2013) directed by Jeanie Finlay, nearly fell under my hip hop radar. In the true spirit of the best vinyl ‘diggers’ (record crate hunters), Jeanie has managed to discover a gem of a beat about the facade and lies within the music industry, the irony being it’s about a duo who never actually got a record out.

The Great Hip-Hop Hoax on DVD

Undeterred by their apparent Scottish disadvantage (according to the genius minds of A&R people calling them rapping Proclaimers), two friends, Billy Boyd and Gavin Bain effectively ran into magical hip hop tagged telephone boxes and heroically transformed into alter egos ’Silibil ’n’ Brains respectively. With the aim of conquering the world (via London) of Rap music, with funny lyrics, boisterous behaviour, oh, and box fresh Californian accents.

The new ‘American’ act was born, and maintained 24/7, to the extent of such method acting, that they could have surpassed Robert De Niro’s Travis Bickle character in Taxi Driver. As a result of such perpetual performances, there are times in this documentary, when it too drives into quite dark areas of the human condition that is the natural outcome to effectively split personalities.

Fooling everyone (well the London industry) around then to ever increasing levels, and eventually themselves, it really is a stranger than fiction story about an industry built on the visage of presentation, surface, dreams, lies and ultimately nightmares. With tons of video footage from the duos fleeting artistic life span, it is fascinating to watch the response of everyone they meet, regardless of any New Era baseball caps being pulled over everyone’s eyes, the guys did/do have a genuine ability that could have readily garnered success, only for the inherent trappings of the music industry and it’s Sirens of drink, drugs and sex, marooning their careers.

Watching the tale unfold makes you wonder how easy it actually all happened, and how often more it has happened, or indeed is happening at this very moment. Despite alot of playful high(land) jinks, it’s ultimately a cautionary tale about the aspiration options we are constantly presented via modern media, and considering the current prolific effect/impact of tv ‘talent’ shows, we really should pay alot more attention to Oracles such as Silibil ‘n’ Bains.

’The Great Hip Hop Hoax’ is out now on dvd by Vertigo Films and Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment.