How I Invented Hip Hop. . . And Other Faux Pas
Overly styled idea taken too far
This article is from 2011.
It’s hard to know what the joke in this act is – does it mock hip-hop, or the posh English accent? The two are combined in what Mr B, The Gentleman Rhythmer, has termed ‘Chap-hop’, but playing the ‘Straight outta Surrey’ card doesn’t work for longer than one song. George Formby style, he whips out a banjolele for accompaniment, which, with no relevance to hip-hop or the upper classes, is just an eccentric add-on. Switching renowned lyrics of the 90s American bad-boy superstars with tales of ‘Lapsang Souchong and devilled kidneys’ is not a novel idea on the Fringe, and neither is using BBC English to analyse street music - this certainly doesn’t live up to Peter Cook and Dudley Moore’s ‘Grooving the Bag’ sketch.
B’s fast-mouthed English rap reinterpretation is admittedly, impressive, but underwhelming when that’s all it is. There must be more to the man than this ability, but attempts to interact with the audience fall flat. On a Friday night, the room was full and merry but one of his later songs, a bizarre, ranty rendition of Amy Winehouse’s ‘Rehab’ rendered the crowd utterly schtum as the rhyme ‘crack cocaine/takes away the pain’ continued to crop up amidst the incessant strumming.
Voodoo Rooms, 226 0000, until 28 Aug (not 22), 11pm, £10.