Silibil n' Brains, The Great Hip Hop Hoax trailer
Ages ago I heard the story of Silibil n' Brains and although I hadn't heard of them their story sounded interesting, more so now that time has passed. Two Scottish rappers were being laughed out of auditions so they learned to sound and act Californian, immersed themselves completely in character, and auditioned again.
They were signed and a career began they even toured alongside D12 along with Eminem and it looked like they were going to make it big, but the lies overtook them.
The trailer for Silibil n' Brains doesn't sell the story as well as finding out about it from other interviews the pair made since, their story is a fascinating one and exposes an absurd barrier in the music industry, you could even say racism, which resulted in the Scottish duo being continually laughed out of auditions but accepted the instant they pretended they were American. It's worthwhile noting that these auditions tended to be in London, not America.
The pair stayed in character for almost all of their waking moments but that had a toll on them as they made friends and business relationships as their alter egos. The more time they had to stay in character the more the lies compounded upon them and the more impact it had when they revealed the truth.
Here's the blurb for The Great Hip Hop Hoax:
Californian hip-hop duo Silibil n' Brains were going to be massive. No one knew the pair were really Scottish, with fake US accents and made up identities. When their promising Scottish rap act was branded "the rapping Proclaimers" by scornful A and R's, 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 rollercoaster 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 pursuit of fame.
The trailer comes through TrailerAddict and shows some of what to expect, an insightful and interesting story that could well offer a few different layers depending on how you're approaching the film - con men, the music industry, or the pressures of continual lies.
Back in 2008 Billy Boyd, or Silibil as some may have known him, gave an interview to The Skinny and revealed some more about the film.
"Basically, we documented our whole time in London on video and in journals. Gav has turned his journals into a chapter-by-chapter breakdown which will be made into a book next year. The agents got in contact with a few companies and Irvine Welsh was very interested in the story, being a fellow Scot. He's now signed up to write the screenplay for the movie. It doesn't get much bigger than this really."
There's no writer credited on the film but Jeanie Finlay is the director.
Gavin Bain, aka Brains, was on BBC Breakfast in 2010 to talk about his autobiography that tells the whole story, and some of what he says about the pressures and lies and the effect it had on him is rather scary.
Bain's book, entitled California Schemin' or Fake, is still available in some places, here are links to it on and .
The film is due for release in March of this year at the South by Southwest festival in America but nowhere else as of yet, here's hoping it at least makes it back home.