Doc Brown heads out on The Weird Way Round tour
Comedy rapper turned stand-up discusses a love of language and his one unrealised dream
When pressed to say what he would like to do if it were possible, Doc Brown muses, ‘Apart from play for Crystal Palace? That’s the only childhood dream that hasn’t yet come to fruition.’ Now in his 30s, he'd probably be looking at playing in goal, but given his versatility you'd be daft to put it beyond him. This rapper, stand-up and actor clearly has a love of language. It's possibly even in his genes given that his sister is the novelist Zadie Smith.
‘When I was six I was desperate to be in school plays, choirs, wherever I could use my voice. My dad was old-school working-class London, born in the 1920s, and my mum was first-generation Jamaican. So, I had two very distinctive and different voices around me as a child and I loved the nuances.’
He came onto the comedy scene via rap having been attracted to it by ‘rude words then humour. Then I saw actual rappers battling and it was the most awe-inspiring, intimidating thing. I realised these guys from the ghetto were unsung geniuses, hood Einsteins.’
His latest show, The Weird Way Round, has Brown moving away from rap, instead exploring straight stand-up. ‘I’m not a kid any more; I can’t keep rapping about dumb stuff. My kids are nearly rapping age, for christ’s sake! I think everyone just wants me to be “The Comedy Rapper” because that’s a category they can understand. When I start talking about insecurity, parenthood, depression, religion, race, class, philosophy, art and death, people are like, “No, that’s for grown-up white comedians: just do the tea rap”.’