CEDAR CITY — A 24-year-old Brigham Young University student who is originally from Cedar City recently set a world record for continuous rapping.
Joshua Palmer, a BYU senior majoring in music production, started off his marathon rap session just after 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 14. He concluded it some 30 hours later, a few minutes after 5:30 p.m. the following evening.
Palmer, who also goes by the rap persona Jee Mingus, finished with a performance of his original song, “Actual GOAT,” featuring a sock puppet named Scruffy that raps lines such as “I’m a billy goat gruff with ghillie coat tufts, really rough, stuffing wolves when they huff and puff …”.
Palmer broke the previous Guinness World Record by just over four hours, he told Cedar City News via telephone. The record-setting session took place at Lowes Xtreme Airsports in Provo as customers bounced on trampolines and jumped into foam-filled pits behind him.
Although rules permitted him to take a five-minute break each hour and also allowed him to accrue unused break time, Palmer said he didn’t take his first break until hitting the 19-hour mark early Friday morning.
“I went 19 hours, then I took a 30 minute break, then I went another seven hours,” he said. “At that point, I had about an hour and a half saved up, so I did take that, but that was after I’d already beaten the record.”
The rules stipulated that Palmer had to utter at least one syllable every five seconds while performing. He also could not perform any song more than once within a four-hour time frame.
“I could have had the same four-hour set and done that the whole thing through,” Palmer explained. “But I had some other stuff and I also freestyled some, coming up with stuff on the spot.”
“I had a friend come and play drums for almost an hour and I freestyled throughout that,” he added.
The event was recorded via audio and video stream, and assistants took notes documenting what Palmer was performing throughout — ranging from well-known songs by prominent rappers such as Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West and Dr. Dre to lengthy improvised riffs from movie scripts, including “The Hobbit,” “Bee Movie” and “Shrek.”
Palmer said it was sometimes tricky to censor out swear words and vulgarities on the fly from certain songs he was performing, in order to keep his performance family-friendly.
“I had to just pause, or I might say ‘freak’ or ‘heck’ or something like that,” he said.
Palmer’s lifelong love for music includes playing trombone during middle school and high school. He attended Cedar Middle School and graduated from Cedar High. His father David Palmer is the band teacher at the middle school.
Palmer said when he was a teenager, he first listened to “White and Nerdy” and “Amish Paradise” by the famed parody artist Weird Al Yankovic, which inspired him to learn how to create similarly witty and entertaining songs.
Several of Palmer’s friends were on hand to cheer him on as he broke the record.
A few hours later, after the successful record-setting attempt was finally over, Palmer said he celebrated the occasion by simply going out for dinner with his father, who’d driven up from Cedar City to catch the end of the marathon event.
“I went out and got some food with my dad, came back and chilled a little bit and then went to bed,” Palmer said, his voice still sounding a bit raspy a few days later. “I told my dad that I was frazzled but not super tired. I mean, I’ve stayed up that long before. I have insomnia, so I’ve had a few nights where I only get like one hour of sleep and have to go another, you know, 18 hours or so. So it’s not unreasonable compared to what I’ve done in the past.”
Palmer said he hopes that the notoriety of breaking the world record will help him in his anticipated career creating and producing music.
“I’m actually graduating this semester and finishing up my capstone project and I’ll be completely done,” he said, adding, “One thing I want to do is try to make money off of my own music. The group that I have is called Sockhampton. We do music videos of sock puppets that, you know, do rap music.”
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