If you’re in the vicinity of Auld Reekie this August, you can’t help but notice the stampede of comedians, drama students and tourists otherwise known as the Edinburgh Fringe. Flicking through the music section, it seems the programme has fewer hip-hop shows than Kanye has moments of modesty. Fear not, fellow rap aficianados, for there are plenty of options for us up at the Fringe. Here are a whole 20, enough for a week, or a very full long-weekend…
THE BIG BOYS IN THE BIG ROOMS
The hottest tickets in town.
Beardyman: One Album Per Hour
This is the big one people! Best known as Jay Foreman’s brother (Hi Jay!), Beardyman hits the extra extra large Pleasance Grand and creates a whole album in just one hour. Three nights only.
23.15, Pleasance Courtyard (Grand), 15th-17th
Abandoman: Hot Desk
In da house? More like IN DA COWS! Ireland’s top hip hop improv comedy team are back with a new show. Are they always new? They’re improvised. Anyway… repeat after me: The udders, the udders, the udders are on fire….
21.10, Udderbelly, 30th-25th (not 11th or 18th)
Mo’ money, mo’ problems? Alas, for most of us, it is not all about the Benjamins. Or Elizabeths for that matter. These five shows are totally free to see! Just pay what you want at the end.
Dave Waller: Where My Folk To?
Lunchtime laughs with Cornish rap nerd Dave Waller, as he embarks on a quest from Bodmin to Brooklyn.
12.00pm, Laughing Horse @ The Wee Pub, 31st-24th (not 11th or 18th)
Brains Mcloud: 15 Reasons Why Justin Bieber is Gay
The Scottish rapper who fooled the rap world into believing he was American. Only 5 chances to see this guy, but you can book in advance for a fiver. Otherwise take a chance on a seat being free (in both senses) on the night.
23.00, Heroes @ Bob & Miss Behave’s Bookshop, 21-25th
This spoken word show promises a colourful rap journey through the history of thought. Sounds good to me! I just hope they don’t give out essay homework at the end.
12.30, Banshee Labrynth, 2nd-24th (not 12th or 19th)
Comedian Rap Battles
No details online for the fringe version of this yet, but if you want to see comedians’ friendships crumble in the name of hip-hop – and believe me, you really do! – you should seek out this show.
Tom Goodliffe: Thug Liffe
A stand-up show, about hip-hop, by an award-winning comedian and thirty-something accountant. Featuring upwards of three jokes (four jokes) and some awkward rapping.
16.45, Laughing Horse @ Bar 50, 31st-24th
EVEN MORE COMEDY!
Hotly tipped debuts, award-winning returnees, and more!
Baba Brinkman – The Rap Guide To Religion
“Baba’s unique brand of ‘peer reviewed rap’ brings together hip-hop, comedy, and behavioural sciences, striving to make sense of nature’s most unpredictable primate.” Sounds fascinating! Count me in.
14.30, Gilded Balloon Teviot, 30th-25th (not 11th or 18th)
The Canterbury Tales Remixed
Not content with doing just a show on religion, Baba Brinkman remixes Chaucer’s classic tales with a comedy hip-hop edge.
17.50, Underbelly Bristo Square, 30th-25th (not 11th or 18th)
Off The Top
This guy must have stamina! BB and neuroscientist Heather Berlin explore the brain and improvisation. A bit of science in my comedy. Yes please! And this one’s free too!
12.10, Canons Gait, 2nd-24th (not 11th or 18th)
Chris Turner: Pretty Fly
Improviser and stand-up extraordinaire Turner brings his debut solo show to the Courtyard after sold out runs in Australia and India. Definitely worth a look.
18.45, Pleasance Courtyard, 30th-25th
Rubberbandits: Continental Fistfight
The plastic bag wearing boys from Limerick return with “dazzling” new songs and “at least one puppet”! Dunno about you, but I’m sold.
20.15, Gilded Balloon, 30th-25th (not 11th, 18th)
Simon Feilder: All The Things I’m Not
No mention of hip-hop in the blurb for this stand-up’s debut solo show, but check out his youtube channel and you’ll see why I’ve picked this one out. Si knows his hip-hop. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uwAUq-r9hA
20.30, Pleasance Courtyard, 30th-25th (not 11th)
Hedluv and Passman: Doin’ it Dreckly
This Cornish rap duo see themselves as modern day folk heroes, but somehow they’re in the comedy section. Either way, they put a smile on my face, “in the shape of a pasty”. Check them out.
22.30, Gilded Balloon, 30th-25th
Jarred Christmas and Jack Hobbs: The Christmas and The Hobbit -A Beat Box and Stand-Up Collaboration
The rap game is full of collabo’s. Snoop and Dre, Meth and Red, Ant and Dec. This is quite possibly the hottest one hitting the fringe this year. Only a short run, so grab them tickets quick!
23.15, Gilded Balloon, 18th-20th
A BIT OF CULTURE (i.e. theatre, spoken word, music and cabaret)
Because it’s not a comedy festival, it’s an arts festival!
Jay-Z and Me: A Fast Talking Memoir
Gutted to miss this one (it clashes with my show). A show by a tiny, 60-year old white woman about her obsession with the self-appointed “greatest rapper alive”. Apparently she’s going to try to act her age after the fringe and take up knitting. Oversize hoodies? Maybe.
16.40, Sweet Grassmarket, 31st-17th (not 11th)
Mark Grist & MC Mixy: Dead Poets’ Death Match
The teacher who blew away MC Blizzard and YouTube hits the fringe. Sylvia Plath vs Ted Hughes? Rabbie Burns vs Byron? Let the wordy bloodbath begin!
17.30, Assembly George Square Studios, 30th-24th (not 11th)
Spoken word hip-hop theatre with breakdancers. That’s enough for me! I’ve already got my tickets.
20.50, Underbelly Cowgate, 31st-24th (not Mondays)
Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer is back at the fringe “for another hour of Chap-Hop, acid ragtime, drum and brass and naughty ballads.” Less weed, more tweed, indeed.
21.00, Voodoo Rooms, 12th-24th (not Mondays)
Jamie MacDowell and Tom Thum
This Aussie duo blend heartfelt songwriting and melodic finger-work with heavy hitting, world-class beatboxing.
20.50, Underbelly Cowgate, 31st-12th https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/jamie-macdowell-and-tom-thum-1
18.25, Underbelly Bristo Square, 19th-25th https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/jamie-macdowell-and-tom-thum
That’s your lot! See you at the fringe.
I’ll be performing my new show, Thug Liffe, every day from the 31st of July to the 24th of August. If you’re not heading up to the Fringe, sign up to my mailing list to hear about other show dates in London and around the UK.