Californian hip-hop duo Silibil n' Brains were going to be massive. No one knew the pair were really Scottish, with fake American accents and made up identities. When their promising Scottish rap act was branded "the rapping Proclaimers" by scornful A&Rs, friends Billy and Gavin reinvented themselves as LA homeboys. The real deal. The lie was their golden ticket to a dream life. With confessions from the scammers, insight from the music execs they duped and doodle reconstructions, the film charts the roller coaster story of the highs of the scam and the lows of madness and the personal toll the deception took. A film about truth, lies and the legacy of faking everything in the desperate pursuit of fame.Written by
Fine Documentary Proving You Can Always Fool Some of the People Some of the Time
THE GREAT HIP-HOP HOAX is a fascinating piece, showing how easy it can be to fool major players in the music industry, so long as one assumes the right accents and manners. Two Scottish students from Dundee reinvent themselves as Californian rappers, and prove so successful that they ended up finding a manager and obtaining a lucrative recording contract from Sony UK. What struck me most about the film was the ease with which they achieved their aims; no one really questioned whether their Californian accents were authentic or not, and assumed at face value that their backgrounds were legitimate. This documentary has a lot to say about stereotyping; how the right accents and background can prove invaluable in achieving success in the music industry. America is cool; Scotland definitely isn't. Perhaps the running-time is a little too long - the documentary runs out of a steam a little towards the end - but nonetheless it is a fascinating piece. The two students, interviewed specially for the piece, are a mixture of arrogance and diffidence; they don't regret what they've done, but seem surprised themselves at the ease with which they achieved what they did.
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