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“The Great Hip Hop Hoax” Will Be Exposed At SXSW

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“Imagine being English for over two years and describing where you went to school and the sort of food you eat and what the roads are like even though you’ve never been here.”

Jeanie Finlay suggested in an interview about her upcoming film The Great Hip Hop Hoax.  While this seems like a completely ridiculous and impossible idea, that’s precisely what Gavin Bain and Billy Boyd of Dundee, Scotland did.

Known as the hip-hop duo, Silibil ‘N Brains, Bain and Boyd quickly rose to to success in the United Kingdom.  They had a record deal with Sony UK and recorded nearly 3 albums worth of music.  But how does one go from aspiring Scottish artists to an American success story?  It’s simple really – you just start with a lie.

After being rejected at an open audition for the next Eminem and declared the “Rapping Proclaimers“, they left their audition hurt and devastated.  “They decided to get their revenge and become better at what they did”, says Jeanie Finlay.  One phone call later and they had become two rappers from California looking to audition.  And what had started out as a joke escalated quickly.  With personalities modeled after Jim Carrey, Michael J. Fox, and ODB, the two friends decided they had to do more than say they were American rappers, they had to be American, even though they had never been stateside.  Thus, Silibil ‘N Brains were born.

Finlays says most of the duo’s fake backstory came from television programs and the two began to study maps of California to reference street names and places.  “Their accents were dreadful”, Finlay says with a chuckle, “but they were convincing enough that people believed them.”

But despite their success, the lie eventually tore the two friends apart and Silibil ‘N Brains were no more.  While this story of two fake American artists could potentially say a lot about the music industry today, that wasn’t what drew Jeanie Finlay into their story.  It was the lie and the lengths they went to to uphold it that really fascinated her.

“I like the idea of them hatching this masterplan of how they were going to pull of the lie” says Finlay, “and I like the idea that as human beings we aren’t really set up to detect that people lie.  You’re more likely to believe a lie than to detect it.  They were really strategic.”  Finlay will be coming to Austin, Texas to premiere the film at the SXSW festival and while she’s there, she hopes to find out a little bit more about what people lie about.

While at the festival, Finlay plans to go around a collect vine videos of what people lie about. “I want people to come find me and lie to me.”‘

Check out the film’s website, hiphophoax.com, and look for Jeanie Finlay and The Great Hip Hop Hoax at the SXSW festival.

SXSW World Premiere 2013 – The Great Hip Hop Hoax from Jeanie Finlay on Vimeo.