Fighting Trousers: Quality Victorian-parody rap video

I don't quite understand how I've kept forgetting to post this here since my friend Leah showed it to me months ago. I also don't quite understand how Cory didn't get to it first. Regardless: Behold, Professor Elemental and his delightful combination of tounge-in-cheek Victorian parody rap + actually damn fine beats.

For context: This is a dis song aimed at the other Victorian parody rapper, Mr. B, The Gentleman Rhymer. After careful consideration, I think I'm on Team Professor Elemental.

Special thanks to Samuelito and Senor Schaffer, who tried to get our attention about this in Submitterator and were somehow overlooked.

Video Link


    1. No. I’m just now posting something I’ve been meaning, but forgetting to post, for months. 

        1. Oh, man, totally serious. Have you heard about the parties these guys throw on the Orient Express? And the private zeppelins? Total sell-outs.

          Or, it just could be me smiling at someone feeling obliged to do the, “You’re just hearing about them now?” thing. :)

  1. Its called Chap-Hop. Its pioneering protagonists are the mighty Correspondents. Chekkit:

    Boom & pow. 

  2. There’s beef between him and Mr. B. Roast beef. &

    1. Professor Elemental is so weak.  A 3-day Victorian beard? There were tons of them around, right?  Also, this video’s great because Mr. B absolutely DESTROYS Elemental.  Short pants, a pith helmet and a British accent do NOT make a chap.

  3. This is a riot! I first heard Professor Elemental on Radio Riel, a “Steampunk” online radio station about a month and a half ago. I use “quotes” because they have yet to mention bananas.

    Burgess Shale, Chthonic Explorer

  4. Seeing is how this whole “beef” between the artists (a true chap has no beef with his fellow man) is all a creation of the Professor, I find it awesome that Mr. B decided to humor him and agree to a chap-off as Captainbadbeard posted.   However from that performance, it is quite clear that Mr. B is the superior chap. Hands down.

  5. Funny that you posted this the same week Warren Ellis tweeted this bit of “Weaponised Englishness for your face,” which I also rather enjoyed.

    I think I prefer Professor Elemental overall, but based on the video that @boingboing-78b5d53cb622ae3b1108094a10994691:disqus posted, I fear I must agree that Mr. B got the best of him on that occasion.

  6. This is being posted now? bOING bOING posted Mr. B about a thousand years ago.

    How does Mark like the Professor’s shot against the banjolele?

  7. So I can never tell if it’s that BoingBoing has its finger on the pulse of the meme world, or if people do stuff specifically to be featured on BoingBoing. Like banana subway map mashups at Disney World.

    Still, steampunk rapping is something I don’t think anyone could have ever predicted.

  8. Back when I first saw/heard this I also checked out Mr. B and found his parody stuff getting stale quite quickly while Professor Elemental was doing original songs.
    Plus Professor Elemental scores big points for making a nice rap to Raymond Scott break beats.

  9. I’m constantly surprised by the saying power of the white-people-doing-comedic-parody-rap genre.  Had you asked me in 1991 how long I thought it’d last, I’d never guess that 20 years later, it would still be going strong.

    1. Can you believe that people are still playing Cristofori’s instrument after all these years? I thought the novelty of the piano-e-forte would have worn off in the 1740s

  10. I half expected Dr. Steel to roll in on some sort of death dealing Juggernaut, flattening all comers.

  11. Mr B. O.C. Original Chap! Check out his Chap Hop History on youtube. No need for gimmicks like Pith Helmet. This tiff needs to be settled with leather on willow!

  12. There’s a comedian/rapper called Nicepeter who posts on Youtube. He and his friends do these skits called “Epic Rap Battles of History” where they impersonate celebs and historical figures squaring off on the mic. Check out the one between Shakespeare and Dr. Seuss. 

  13. It’s my perception that the Beastie Boys were originally a parody-of-frat-culture-and-what-rap-would-be-like-if-it-arose-on-the-Jersey-Shore. That’s 28 +- years.

    At any rate, Elemental has had the academician-on-a-three-day-academic-excursion beard for quite some time now. Rather hard to shave when one’s water is rationed, what?

    Anyone who is so clearly enamoured of the produce of Camellia Sinensis that they sing its praise in paean bepithed, is my hero.

  14. Ah shucks. I talked smack about how long this took and just realized I got recognition in the post.  

    me<——feels bad now

  15.   ya know, every once in a while you see something that reminds you that people are still having that elusive thing called ‘fun’.  Brilliant ;)  that gets my internet for the day.

  16. Personally, I much prefer the original music track before they slowed it down.

    To see the original video of this song by the original composer, Raymond Scott see…

    Is it considered “sampling” when you lift an entire verse and chorus intact and use the intros and outros and part of the bridge too?

    1. Is it considered “sampling” when you lift an entire verse and chorus intact and use the intros and outros and part of the bridge too?

      That’s pretty much how it was done since the 70s.

  17. Regardless of how old it is or who did what or why their sauce is not tasty, it’s very funny and charming.  That bouncy bassoon line and muted trumpets are better than so much production I hear nowadays anyway.

    1. That isn’t a bassoon. They’re just playing the record at the wrong speed. That’s Pete Pumiglio on clarinet and Dave Wade on trumpet. The reason that most production nowadays doesn’t sound this good is because the track was recorded in 1936. These guys just played back the record at 45 rpm instead of 78 and rapped over the top. The real name of this song is “Twilight in Turkey”.

  18. George Fomby must be the ur-chap hopper, even if he was working class

  19. So glad to see you guys giving props to the Prof! I first heard him back in 2008, and have been introducing people to his brand of silliness ever since. From brown stuff to war kitties he’s a swell chap! 

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