Music On Screen

The Great Hip Hop Hoax

Year 2013
Runtime 92 mins
Language English

Silibil n’ Brains were a dynamic hip-hop duo from Huntington Beach, California, looking to relocate to the United Kingdom. With a few phone calls they quickly lined up London gigs and requests for their demo tapes. Fans and photo shoots followed. Success seemed right around the corner. But Silibil n’ Brains were also Billy Boyd and Gavin Bains, from Dundee, Scotland, neither of whom had ever even been to California.

As the duo’s fears of being discovered by their friends in Dundee increase, the stress of maintaining their lies 24/7 proves to be too much. The Great Hip Hop Hoax recounts the band’s early struggles to make it in the music business, contrasting their failures with the success they earned after donning American accents and recasting themselves as Californians. It’s a shocking expose of a music industry that cares more about style and marketability than substance and heart.


United Kingdom
SXSW 2013, HotDocs 2013, DOXA Documentary Film Festival 2013, Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013
Jeanie Finlay
Executive Producer
Jerry Rothwell, Jonny Persey, Stewart Le Marechal
Al Morrow, Jeanie Finlay
Roger Knott-Fayle
Jim Scott
Paul Finlay. Paul Finlay & Mike Brennan
Billy Boyd, Gavin Bain, James Bourne, Jonathan Shalit, Del Conboy, Chris Rock, Oskar Kirkwood