#Hip Hop Fops: Mysteries of Holborn


MC Home Counties: “The inventor of hip hop…?”

The latest mysterious happening at Millman Street Community Centre is news of an unusual phenomenon dubbed (if only here) The Holborn Dodecahedron [originally it was to be the Holborn Triangle, until threats of legal action from the owners of the Bermuda Triangle©®™ put paid to that].

The exact dimensions of the Dodecahedron vary, depending on this reporter’s knowledge of local geography and indeed of basic shapes, but he once left some fags on a bus in the area – a most perplexing mystery indeed.

However, even more anomalous goings-on than that have recently been reported, with the discovery of the gateway to a parallel dimension in the Dodecahedron.  The strange-looking device was stumbled on by your HCA reporter while he was ‘investigating stories of local interest’ [i.e: hiding from HCA bosses] up the road from Millman Street, near the plaque for Dorothy L Sayers.  Cack-handedly carrying the contraption back to the Centre, the blundering fool accidentally activated the machine, and was transplanted in a flash of cheap special effects to an extraordinary other world…[see slideshow below]

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Ostensibly the same as our reality, there are, however, subtle differences in this alternative universe: its inhabitants feast on garlic and raspberry sandwiches (on green bread), and their milk is orange-coloured and their orange juice a shade of milky white.  And England have won the World Cup five times and Brazil only once…

Perhaps even more remarkable is the fact that, in the other dimension, hip hop was pioneered – and continues to be performed – by the landed gentry, as chronicled in a DVD that was handily nearby, along with a DVD player (also conveniently at hand).  It was initially difficult to decipher what the participants said in the DVD’s archive footage, as they all spoke in such posh accents that even the Queen sounded like a steveodore after trapping a finger in a door in comparison.  Fortunately, a passing ‘Toff Whisperer’ translated into a reasonable facsimilie of comprehendable English, allowing some sort of sense to be made of the story.

It seems that, in the other dimension, although there is some debate as to the originator of the genre, it is generally held that the credit for inventing hip hop should go to Master of Ceremonies (or “MC”, in hip hop parlance) Home Counties, otherwise known as The Right Honourable, His Grace The Earl of Holborn.  Along with his collaborator, Disc Jockey (or “DJ”) Phat Cravat, Home Counties released a series of seminal 78rpm shellac recordings during the 1930s.  Amongst the most celebrated of these were the albums Straight Out Of West Brompton and Don’t Believe The Tripe.  The former platter spawned the hit single Puck The Folice (Befuddle The Constabulary Mix), an anthemic protest against the boys in blue’s attempt to enforce tax regulations on behalf of HM Treasury and to prevent evasion thereof by the filthy rich.

Assisted by his valet at the piano, Home Counties – resplendent in monocle, top hat and plus fours – would ‘rap’ into a microphone held in place onstage by his chauffeur (mic stands were not invented until 1995 in their dimension, apparently), whilst his butler served refreshing aperitifs to the audience at debutantes balls, Glyndebourne and Royal Ascot.

Home Counties and Phat Cravat’s career was not without controversy, however:  it was not uncommon for ‘flapper rappers’ (female MC’s) of the era to demand greater equality for women (as long as said females were upper class, of course).  During one such spat in 1933, MC Female Emancipation (Lady Caroline Ponsonby-Smythe, of the Kensington Ponsonby-Smythes), launched what was considered a blistering attack on Home Counties’ lyrical abilities when she rapped:

While one doesn’t wish to appear boastful, one’s rhymes are generally considered to be splendid; in comparison yours – that is to say those of MC Home Counties – are deemed most lamentable.

Bombshell. In retaliation, Home Counties berated Female Emancipation thusly: “Your mater’s morals are little better than those of a common scullery maid!

Blimey.  As one might imagine, the altercation led to banner headlines in the broadsheets, letters to the Telegraph and Times, and a hasty rewriting of Female Emancipation’s entry in Debrett’s Peerage.  Yet her reputation was redeemed in 1935, after her social commentary on then-current events – the single Kindly Discontinue Your Disgraceful Incursion Into Abyssinia, Mr Mussolini – sold 3¾ million copies of sheet music to top the Hit Parade for an unprecedented 106 weeks.


Most agreeable: The feuding rappers were finally reconciled for Toff Aid in 1938…

Amazing as this parallel world was, your HCA was unable to make further investigations and gather astounding proof of what lay within.  He just had time to take a snap of the plaque dedicated to MC Home Counties before the aforementioned strange contraption bleeped alarmingly, and a soothing female voice announced: “Time to go back to your own dimension, scumbag!”, before turfing him out, back to our own reality…

Granted, it all sounds unlikely, if not (as some have suggested) a pathetic attempt to cadge more expenses from HCA for “inter-dimensional travel”, but the photographic evidence below surely speaks for itself:


Our dimension…


“Undisputable proof” of a parallel dimension…


Next Week: More Cobblers from The Holborn Dodecahedron

Last Week: A look Into The Future.  Or past.

Nonsense by Notes Smudger

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