Tuesday, 26 June 2012

SONG FOR TODAY: Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer - Straight Out Of Surrey/The Crack Song

This gloriously funny track is taken from Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer's first long-player, 'Flattery Not Included', released a few years ago. It introduces Mr. B's notion of 'Chap Hop', a form of Hip Hop performed in the King's English with banjolele accompaniment and chappist lyrical themes concerning nostalgia for Edwardian life (or an idealised version of it), notably cricket, pipe-smoking, and sherry. Other songs focus on Hip Hop culture and the relations between it and "chappism" as practised by Mr. B. The best way to listen to 'Straight Out Of Surrey' is to hear NWA's original version first to compare the contrasting lyrics... Since 'Straight Out Of Surrey' isn't available on the service, Spotify users can instead listen to 'The Crack Song', a jolly ditty included in the music player at the bottom of this page...

Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer is a parodist who performs "chap hop" — hip-hop delivered in a Received Pronunciation accent. Mr. B raps, or "rhymes", about high society, pipe smoking and cricket while playing the banjolele. The character is described as having grown up in Cheam and attending Sutton Grammar School for Boys.

Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer is an alter ego of Jim Burke (formerly a rapper with the Britpop group Collapsed Lung). Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer started performing in late 2007, playing at cabaret clubs, and venues across the UK including the Glastonbury Festival and club NME in Paris, and performed as part of the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He has performed on radio including the Steve Lamacq show and "Introducing with Tom Robinson" for the BBC. He has also been named as a 'Band of the Month' on the Kooba Radio podcast.

His debut album "Flattery Not Included" was released in 2008 for the Grot Music label, which includes the track "Chap-Hop History" which is a Received Pronunciation reworking of some well known hip-hop classics. Its accompanying video has received numerous views on YouTube. Another track from the album, "Timothy", is about the unique vocal style of BBC Radio's Tim Westwood. Perhaps his best known track, "Straight Out Of Surrey", is a parody of N.W.A's "Straight Outta Compton" and purports to be "the extent of [his] cricket knowledge."

Mr B. has appeared as a guest on the Zero Day album by MC Frontalot, playing the banjolele and providing additional vocals on the track "Better At Rapping".

He is currently in a feud with "chap-hop" artist Professor Elemental...

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