MICF: Of Mic and Men

When tickets weren’t available for the show I was planning to see, I took a punt on former rapper Doc Brown in Of Mic and Men on the strength of his 2014 MICF gala spot.

For a show promising a “tongue-in-cheek take on hip-hop culture”, it shied away from what I saw as its main appeal of insider’s insight. The result was a personable performance that travelled into much less edgy territory than I had hoped for.

Doc Brown
Doc Brown

Doc Brown is the alter-ego of Englishman Ben Smith, a successful rapper and recent support act for Ricky Gervais, with whom he also appeared in the tv show Derek.

He starts with an amusing outline of why he didn’t have the right psychological make-up for, what he suggests is, the arrogant and bigoted rap culture. However, by ridiculing the stereotypical image, he doesn’t bring any particularly new insights.

Perhaps more of Doc Brown’s presence might have  taken better advantage of Smith’s perspective on the art form.

There were also bits of variable quality that didn’t relate to rap. Bright spots included observations like   children asking “What do you do with someone after they die?”, giving him opportunity to play the anxious adult and the enquiring child. A section on the interplay of nature and nurture on his children’s friends who live in the same apartment complex also had some interest, if not much comedic punch.


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