“I started off doing straightforward hip-hop,” says Mr B, The Gentleman Rhymer. “That was during my ‘oik’ phase. Then I was also in a dandy punk band for around 12 years. We played one gig.”
“There was a stint in a banjolele covers band,” he continues, “then one summer’s day I decided to put it all together.”
And thus was born Chap Hop, Mr B’s own style of music: where tales of gangstas and bling give way to ditties about cricket and smoking one’s pipe. Much more civilised.
“I was the first to coin the term,” he says, “and yes, now there is a certain amount of reverence – people have been known to turn up at gigs in tweeds and false moustaches. I also caused some moshing in the poetry tent at Latitude – I don’t think that’s happened before.”
After having appeared in Edinburgh for the past two years guesting on other shows, How I Invented Hip-Hop… and Other Faux Pas is M B’s first solo Fringe show.
“It’s my journey through the invention of hip-hop,” he explains, “with tangents into numerous sorts of filth along the way. It shall perhaps be a little more tiring than in previous years, but I am training by drinking lots of sherry.”
“I always find Edinburgh to be very positive and enjoyable. The Fringe is like a living organism of all sorts of arty farty types. It’s very good fun.”
“And although I have tempered my pipe-smoking somewhat, I still partake now and again to celebrate things – like sell-out shows, for example.”
And with a champion – nay, an inventor – of an entire musical genre in town, don’t be surprised therefore if you see a few clouds of pipe smoke outside the Voodoo Rooms this August.
You can catch Mr B’s journey through hip-hop from Aug 3-28 (not Mondays) at 23:00. More details are on the Fringe website.