Friday, 6 September 2013

"The Great Hip Hop Hoax" (The Guardian 06/09/13)

The Great Hip Hop Hoax (18) 93 mins ***

Documentarist Jeanie Finlay here follows 2011’s sweetly inquisitive record-store survey Sound It Out with another tale from the music industry’s fringes. In 2004, white rappers Silibil ‘n’ Brains seized the post-Eminem moment to land lucrative Sony contracts and significant airplay. They claimed to be Californian skater boys; in fact, they were Billy Boyd and Gavin Bain, two chancers from Arbroath. Their method rapping was more youthful prank than Imposter-like deception; Finlay benefits from the larky footage her subjects shot to document their upward trajectory, while charting the growing desperation of giddy kids obliged not just to live but sell a lie. Darker notes prevail as the gap between image and reality grows too wide for the boys to reconcile, but it’s mostly a poppy, funny anecdote, if no advert for the music biz: Daniel Bedingfield emerges as one of its savvier souls.

The Great Hip Hop Hoax opens in selected cinemas from today.

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