Fascinated Friday: Chap Hop, or “When I Say Hey, You Say Tally-Ho!

For today’s Fascinated Friday, I felt in the mood for something light and fun.  Since the purpose of these Fascinated Friday posts is to share things that I come across that I am enjoying, I thought that today I would talk to you about my latest discovery:  the fascinating hip hop sub-genre known as Chap-hop.

Chap Hop came about in England, and is a mixture of hip hop flow with a distinctly old school aesthetic.  Like 90’s style.

1890’s that is.

Yes, I actually made that joke, and no I am not ashamed.  I am embracing the sheer goofy joy of this genre.  It is, quite frankly, adorable.  And I find myself listening to it constantly when I am writing now.

There are two mainstays of the chap hop world:  Mr. B the Gentleman Rhymer , and Professor Elemental.  These two luminaries of the chap hop scene each come with a distinct style.

Mr. B is arguably the more well known of the two.  He perhaps embodies the “chap” part of chap hop the better of the two.  He plays a banjo-lele (which is exactly what it sounds like.  A banjo ukele.) and rhymes about cricket and the joy of an exposed ankle as a lady curtseys.  Clad in a bowler hat, a tweed suit, and a fine mustache, Mr. B brings a delightful exuberance to his tracks.  Here’s one that has been one my playlist a lot lately.  I do love a nod to the classics.

Mr. B the Gentleman Rhymer.

Straight outta Surrey

See?  Adorable.

However, if I am totally honest, while I am enjoying Mr. B, my favorite has to be the mad bastard that is Professor Elemental.  Moving beyond just an old-fashioned and exceedingly polite presentation, the Professor has gone full steampunk mad-scientist adventurer.  And I love him for it.  Usually shirtless, wearing a pith helmet and a scraggly beard, Professor Elemental looks like Livingston if Stanley found him after a ten day absinthe binge.  He has accoutrements like time-travel trousers and a monkey man-servant named Jeffrey.  Of the two, it’s the Professor’s lyrics and flow that set him on top.

The first track I ever encountered from Professor Elemental was the amazing “Fighting Trousers.”  Check it out.

But some other amazing tracks include “The Attic” which unfolds like a delightful penny dreadful, “Elixir” with its smart references to Jekyll and Hyde, and of course the unforgettable “Cup of Brown Joy,” about the joys of tea.

When I say OO you say LONG.  OO LONG OO LONG!

So until next time, keep finding things you love, even when they are delightfully goofy and old-timey.  I know I will.

-Mark

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