The Great Hip-Hop Hoax
Here is a question. Answer (a) or (b).
Do you like Hip-Hip:
Ye (a) Yes
If your answer was (a) or (b) this could be an interesting film for you.
It touches on the thorny question of what is ‘real’ in pop music. It also shows how the music industry works, how to get a record deal, how to get a powerful established manager, how to create a buzz, how to get key tours like opening for D12 on tour (the dream of so many hip-hip acts). As a bonus it shows how you can do all of these things by pretending to be someone you are not.
It begins in Scotland with a couple of fairly talented, industrious young hip-hop lovers. They want to perform and get a chance to be heard. Off they go on the bus to London for a record company audition. They do they best, they perform well and what happens? The panel of experts laughs in their faces and basically tells them they are a joke. Why? Because they are from Scotland. The message is: this music is American, that’s why it works.
I suppose we have become so accustomed to hearing hip-hip with an American accent that anything else sounds odd.
Anyway, the two lads return home devastated.
Then they have an idea. If you have to be from America to make it in to the music work…let’s be from America. This begs the question…where in America…why yes, California.
So the lads, with perfectly acceptable hip-hop names Silibil (get it? Silly Billy and part of a word!) and Brains become ‘from California’. They work on their accents, they sort of work on a back story and off they go. This is confusing to family members, loved ones etc as they ‘stay in character’ and keep the accents up.
Their characters are a bit Wayne’s World, a bit Eminem, a bit So Cal skate-punk, a bit Kid Rock, and more than a bit believable.
Things go horribly right and horribly wrong for the two lads. They convince the power-brokers in the industry, get the attention they want, and endure a nightmare. When SONY America come to see them perform in England the label wants to sign them. Unfortunately, the SONY people seem to be more familiar with the place in California the lads are ‘from’ than they are themselves! So they invent a very unusual reason for telling their manager why they don’t want to sign with SONY America!
The film is very very funny in places yet ultimately tragic.
Wild Hearted Outsider