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Music / Professor Elemental

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"I need a cup of the brown stuff, the shade of an acorn,
Made warm by the same source that I take my cakes from,
Using a teapot, a mug or fine china,
Been hooked up to IVs, need constant supplies."
"Cup of Brown Joy"

Alter ego of British rapper and comedian Paul Alborough, Professor Elemental (also known as MC Elemental) is a Steampunk musical artist and one of the pioneers of "Chap Hop." While not the first to mix hip-hop with steampunk, he is one of the first to put the unique British spin on it that has become known as chap-hop. His character is that of an eccentric upper class Gentleman Adventurer and Mad Scientist from the late 1800s. While his act started out as a piss take (he intended to do an album about rappers throughout history), he has become a major sensation in the Steampunk community, and his rap about his love of tea, "Cup of Brown Joy", became a YouTube hit.

Tropes he displays:

  • Adventurer Outfit: The classic Victorian "safari outfit" one is his attire of choice most of the time. Sometimes teamed with a Union Jacknote  jacket for an extra patriotic touch. Goggles on the pith helmet are often present as a nod to Steampunk sensibilities.
  • Apologises a Lot: In "I'm British".
    I begin every sentence with an apology.
    Sorry that's the case. That's just British policy.
    • Later in the song:
    Well, at this point I'd just like to take a moment to apologise on behalf of Britain for all the things that we've brought to the world. Simon Cowell for example. Jim Davidson. Fox hunting. Black pudding. But most of all, we're all terribly, terribly sorry about Piers Morgan.
  • Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: His outfit might be over a hundred years out of date but he still makes it look iconic.
  • Badass Boast: Much of "Cup of Brown Joy."
    "And I've bathed in Earl Grey—I'm really that keen!"
  • Bad Humor Truck: "Animal Ice Cream."
  • Battle Rapping: Was in a feud (of sorts) with Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer, 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.
    • For instance, Mr. B makes a cameo in "I'm British", complete with the Professor rushing into shot in an attempt to hide him from view. Likewise, Elemental appears in Mr. B's "Just Like A Chap", this time with him rushing in to hide Elemental from view.
  • Brits Love Tea: "Cup of Brown Joy" is a love letter to the stuff. "Love a cup! Oh, God yes!"
    • In "Splendid", he mentions that the moat of his castle is filled with Tea.
  • The Cameo: Elemental appeared and did a song on the Phineas and Ferb episode "Steampunx".
  • Cool Helmet: Elemental's pith helmet.
  • Crowd Song / Call-and-Response Song: "Cup of Brown Joy." "Now when I say 'Earl Grey', you say 'Yes, please!"
  • Darker and Edgier: Whilst still pretty hilarious, compared to his other work The Indifference Engine definitely plays up the more deranged side of the Professor's Mad Scientist persona, especially on tracks such as "Animal Magic" and "Elixir".
  • Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: A Sherlockian calabash style one is sometimes in evidence.
  • The Diss Track: "Fighting Trousers" is positioned as a diss track attacking Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer. It's directly referred to as a diss song in the spoken word at the end, when the professor's butler Geoffrey goes off-script.
    Professor Elemental: No, no jazz solo. This is supposed to be a diss song. Geoffrey, get off the drums! [sighs]
  • Eldritch Location: The attic from the song of the same name changes with each visit, is ruled by King Rat and populated by a range of strange and malevolent beings. The only safe way out is to be lead back by Lord Owl. The professor uses it to store his abandoned experiments and various other curiosities, such as a malfunctioning robot butler, a two-headed toad that he adopted, and a unicorn's horn.
  • A Fête Worse than Death: The title of one of his songs, though it averts this trope.
  • Gentleman Adventurer: Elemental dresses in pith helmet and khakis, and a Sherlock Holmes pipe.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: In his video for "Fighting Trousers", Elemental enters a boxing ring wearing khaki shorts and boxing gloves, but still with his trademark pipe and pith helmet on.
  • Hip-Hop: In his own "chap-hop" variant.
  • I Am Very British: "I'm British" and a whole bunch of other songs scream this trope.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: "Elixir" is a retelling of the story, with Elemental in the main role.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: In the song Fighting Trousersnote :
    "Never test Professors, we're the cleverest wits:
    Let's settle this like gentlemen armed with heavy sticks,
    on a rotating plate with spikes, like Flash Gordon,
    and you're Peter Duncan, I gave you fair warning!"
  • The Mad Hatter: Elemental's gone mad from an excess of tea.
  • Mad Scientist: Elemental raps about experiments that Dr. Moreau would be jealous of in "Animal Magic".
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever the robot butler did that got him locked in Elemental's attic.
  • Obliviously Evil: You won't meet a friendlier chap, but the Professor's stuck in his old timey ways, and those ways can be very morally dubious.
  • Last Note Nightmare / Mood Whiplash: In "Sweet Cold Colation", Elemental gets seduced by his wife with a dress made of cakes. It ends with Elemental drilling her teeth out, accompanied by her screams and a loud electric drill.
    • Likewise, "Elixir" ends with the professor transforming into Mr. Hyde right in front of his friend and attacking him.
  • The Musical: The Chronicles Of Professor Elemental
  • Shaped Like Itself
    If my home is my castle, that's most convenient/because my home is a castle
  • Quintessential British Gentleman: Of the pukka sahib variety, complete with pith helmet.
  • Taxidermy Is Creepy: Elemental is a "mad taxidermist", who experiments with sewing parts of different animals together to create new ones (while they are living) in his song, "Animal Magic." The animals get their vengeance in the end.
  • Travel Montage: In "Cup of Brown Joy", his head on a teacup travels to places famous for tea across the globe.
  • Vaudeville: Elemental is also a member of Come Into My Parlour, a "Victorian Cabaret" steampunk theatrical troupe in England, several members of whom appear in his "Cup of Brown Joy" and "Fighting Trousers" videos.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: As noted above, with Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer.
  • Weird West: Referenced in "Weird Weird West", though the weirdest thing is Elemental himself, and the music video leans more toward Cattle Punk.