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Music / Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer

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"Straight out of Surrey, a gentleman rhymer named Mr. B,
Friendly with chaps with an air of mystery,
Were I poised to be sad, I've got some more shag,
Squeeze it out the pipe and declare it is a voice brag."
"Straight Out of Surrey"

Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer (real name Jim Burke) is a parodist who is one of the pioneers of Chap Hop — Hip-Hop delivered in a Received Pronunciation accent. Mr. B raps, or "rhymes", about high society, pipe smoking and cricket while playing the banjolelenote . His appearance is that of a dapper chap from the 1920's, complete with period mustache and pipe. He has become quite popular in the Steampunk community with his parody of N.W.A's Straight Outta Compton called "Straight Out Of Surrey."


Tropes he displays:

  • All Men Are Perverts: Yup, even the upper-class Mr B is no exception, if "More Kissing in Porn Please, We're British", "A Thoroughly Modern Breakup" or "You Just Can't" are any indication.
  • Arch-Enemy: Was in a feud (of sorts) with fellow chap-hop artist Professor Elemental, which gained them both international recognition. They have since guest-starred in each other's videos, peformed live together and recorded "The Duel" together for Elemental's latest album "Father Of Invention", which begins as a Rap Battle and ends with them praising each other.
  • Affectionate Parody: Most of Mr. B's songs, most notably "Straight Out Of Surrey" and "Chap-Hop History."
  • Dashingly Dapper Derby: Mr. B often wears one.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has his moments. A particularly memorable one came in an interview just after the release of the diss song "Fighting Trousers" by Professor Elemental.
    "If he wants to make claims about gentlemen rhymers, he'd better start behaving like a gentleman. He could have a proper shave, for a start."
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  • Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: A classic straight stem pipe in contrast to Professor Elemental's more Sherlockian calabash style one.
  • Hip-Hop: In his own trademark "chap-hop" variant.
  • I Am Very British: Given the genre, it's a given.
  • Nerdcore: "Chap hop" is a variant of this. Basically, imagine rap music about safe things that white people like were even safer and whiter.
  • Nice Hat: Mr. B always sports a nice hat, be it a newsboy cap, bowler, boater or trilby.
  • Protest Song: Mr. B complains about not being able to light up his pipe in a pub in "Let Me Smoke My Pipe!"
  • Quintessential British Gentleman: Mr B epitomises this type of persona, just listen to any of his songs.
    Damn it, it feels good to be a chap
    Treating ladies with kindness and respect
    Because the ladies know
    They don't want another "bro"
    They want a man, in Prince of Wales check.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: In a classic 1920s style with waistcoats, dapper hats, fob watches and immaculately groomed moustache.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Pipe smoking is cool, to be precise.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: The subject matter of his raps sometimes makes him come off as this (e.g. "Oh, Santa" or "A Thoroughly Modern Breakup"). The Crowner is probably "You Just Can't", which details the issues with modern life in a (mostly) sophisticated stylenote  until it drops the bomb in the chorus: "You just can't rape a goat these days, it'll end up on your facebook page..."
  • Spot of Tea: In the video for his song, "Mr. B's World Cup Song," Mr. B escapes some kidnappers by enticing them into having a cup of tea with him (and later a game of cricket).
  • Stiff Upper Lip: Never loses his cool, even when a miscreant "disses" him as Professor Elemental did in "Fighting Trousers"
  • Take That!:
    Whatever happened to Timothy?
    I was at prep with him, you see.
    He was a wiz with a cricket bat,
    But he never used to talk like that.
    • "Hip-hop Was To Blame After All" is a Take That! to the Hip-hop music industry. It starts out sounding like an indictment of hip-hop in general...
      Hip-hop decided to homogenize itself
      And place itself in violence and wealth.
      Hip-hop decided to pick up its lowest traits
      And sell them to the public over everything that's great.
      Hip-hop decided that misogyny and greed
      Would be the sort of thing that America would need.


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