Chap hop: A “genre of comedic British rap music with lyrics in Edwardian English about quintessentially British topics, such as tea and cricket, often with steam punk elements (e.g. ‘I’m British’ by Professor Elemental).” (Source: “Among the New Words,” American Speech, Fall 2012.) Also spelled chap-hop. For more on steampunk, see my May 2008 post.
“I’m British,” by Professor Elemental (2012)
The chap in chap hop is derived, at least in part, from the British magazine The Chap (1999-), which “takes a wry look at the modern world through the steamed-up monocle of a more refined age, occasionally getting its sock suspenders into a twist at the unspeakable vulgarity of the twenty-first century.” Chap to mean “lad, fellow” was first documented in 1716; it was an abbreviation of a 16th-century term, chapman, which meant “customer.” The hop is a libfix from hip-hop (see also trip-hop, hipster hop).
“Among the New Words” antedates chap hop to a June 2, 2008, article in the British publication The Argus about Jim Burke, aka “Mr.B The Gentleman Rhymer,” who
describes his sound as “Noel Coward and Afrika Bambaataa enjoying a sweet sherry together”. He has forsaken baseball caps and medallions for cravats and cuff links, and employs a banjolele and backing track in place of the usual set of decks.
“It’s reconnecting hip-hop with the Queen’s English,” he says. “There are an awful lot of dribblers and mutterers out there. Enunciation and grammar are terribly important.”
“Chap-Hop History,” by Mr.B The Gentleman Rhymer (2009)
Chap hop appears to have made some inroads into the North American music scene, at least among steampunk aficionados. Mr.B. The Gentleman Rhymer will perform on both days of Steamstock 2013, to be held in Richmond, California, on July 27 and 28.
See also this North American equivalent of chap hop (prep hop?).
“Tea Partay,” by Prep Unit (2006). “Where my WASPs at?”