The world of hip hop is changing, add sherry, cigars, banjos and bowlers and we are left with a hilarious and musically inventive genre known as Chap Hop. Bringing Hip hop in line with the Queens English, TQS are lucky enough to chat with the fore founder and connoisseur of this delightfully English pastime, Gentleman Rhymer, Mr B.
1. How long have you been Mr. B?
Mr.B has been in my mind for many years but has existed in the real world for four years now.
2. What inspired you?
It was a culmination of previous projects if you will. I was in a Hip-Hop band, a banjolele covers band and a sort of Dandy-Punk band. I decided one day to bring the whole thing together.
3. Who are your influences?
I would say that if you put George Formby, De La Soul and Noel Coward together, you’ve got something approaching Chap-Hop, which is what I do.
4. Where are you playing throughout the UK this summer?
Crikey, I shall be at Glastonbury, Latitude, Secret Garden party, Camp Bestival, Ledbury Poetry Festival, The Magic Loungeabout, Kendall Calling, Bestival and for a whole month at the Edinburgh Fringe with my one man show ‘How I Invented Hip-Hop…And Other Faux Pas’.
5. What is the worst heckle you have ever received?
My hecklers tend to be terribly polite. ‘Boo’ was one I do remember though. Rotter.
6. One of your songs is about crack cocaine…do you like to be controversial?
If one cannot be controversial one may as well not bother at all. I do cover a number of challenging subjects, such as pornography, drugs, dysmorphia, VD, beastiality, work, fame, tweed and smoking. All the things a chap is interested in.
7. When you perform – all the songs merge nicely together – do you mix the backings yourself?
I do indeed, I am my own little cottage industry.
8. Have you ever had any feedback from traditional hip-hoppers?
I did meet the ex-editor of Vibe magazine in the US at a social function a few months back and he said to me ‘The only intereseting thing happening in Ho-Hop right now is you.’ Which was frightfully nice of him.
9. What does Mr B like to drink?
What have you got? Do you have any sherry?
10. What is your favourite thing about being British?
Our climate means for 4/5ths of the year I can wear Tweed.
You can find more about Gentleman Rhymer Mr B here