The Great Hip Hop Hoax

The Great Hip Hop Hoax posterDirector: Jeanie Finlay

Cast: Billy Boyd, Gavin Bain

Cert: 18

Running time: 88mins

Year: 2013


The lowdown: In 2004 Californian hip-hop homeboys Silibil n’ Brains were destined for stardom. They were the real deal. The genuine article. They were also two students from Dundee who had no idea how far they’d have to go to hide their true identities.

The Great Hip Hop Hoax - Boyd, Bain, lagerThe Great Hip Hop Hoax - Boyd, Bain, car

The verdict: Labelled “the rapping Proclaimers” at a disastrous A&R audition, Scottish rap fans Billy Boyd and Gavin Bain re-invented themselves as West-Coast wild boys Silibil n’ Brains.

Their commitment to the lie would shame most method actors and at a time when social media was still in its infancy, they used their MTV inspired accents and jackass-style antics to fool industry execs into thinking they’d struck gold.

Through effective use of interviews, filmed footage and animated reconstructions, director Jeanie Finlay has crafted a fascinating, funny, occasionally touching insight into the nature of identity and the pursuit of fame.

It’s only a tendency to over-hype the duo’s lyrical genius and an unnecessary urination scene labouring a point already made that stop it from being truly great.

Angela Britten

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