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The Great Hip Hop Hoax

  • Drama
  • News and current affairs
  • 2013
  • Jeanie Finlay
  • 88 mins
  • 18

Summary

Gavin Bain from Dundee and Billy Boyd of Arbroath had their rap act rejected by scornful A&R men, so decided to reinvent themselves as Californian hip-hop duo Silibil n' Brains - complete with fake American accents and made-up back stories. This documentary charts the ups and downs of their scam and examines the personal toll the deception took, with contributions from Gavin and Billy, as well as the music executives they duped.

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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

Documentary film-maker Jeanie Finlay recounts the extraordinary tale of a small-town Scottish rapping duo who fooled the showbiz world into believing they were Californian skateboard kids. Arbroath-born Billy Boyd and Gavin Bain started out with the best of intentions, auditioning as themselves, but they were dismissed by an indifferent music industry as a "rapping Proclaimers". That is until they reinvented themselves as American hip-hop act Silibil n' Brains. The pair claim they initially acted "out of spite", but soon found themselves courted by major labels, in meetings with high-ranking management and in demand for TV appearances. The film doesn't quite hit the mark as a hard-nosed exposé of a shallow, trend-led business, but it does work as a winsome study of the fickle nature of fame. Still, it's the pranksters themselves who drive it along with an undeniable charm, which partly explains how they were able to get away with it.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Gavin BainGavin Bain
Billy BoydBilly Boyd (2)

Crew

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DirectorJeanie Finlay

Details

Theatrical distributor
Vertigo
Released on
2013-09-06
Languages
English
Guidance
Swearing
Formats
Colour
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