BYU student prepares for a shot at breaking rap marathon world record

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Joshua Palmer hopes to launch his solo rap career by breaking the Guinness World Record for longest rap marathon by rapping for 30 hours straight. (Addie Blacker)

Every musician has something that separates them from the other artists in their genre. One BYU student hopes his background as a member of the group Sockhampton, a group of rapping sock puppets, and his upcoming attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the longest rap marathon will set him apart.

“You need to make a splash. That’s something that’s invaluable,” Joshua Palmer said. “There’s not a lot you can do music-wise until people care about what you’re doing.”

Palmer plans to rap for 30 hours consecutively on Nov. 14-15. The current Guinness World Record for the longest rap marathon is held by Pablo Alvarez who rapped for 25 hours and 56 minutes consecutively in 2017.

Guinness World Records has strict rules — including a five minute break every hour and a requirement that the rap must be coherent rather than random syllables — that must be followed for the attempt to count.

“The one that’s got me nervous is I can’t pause for more than five seconds,” Palmer said.

Palmer plans to perform Sockhampton songs, freestyle and rap from classic literature like “The Iliad” to avoid pauses that would forfeit his shot at the world record. He also gets five minutes of break time for every hour he raps.

“(That break time) can stack up. If I go for six hours straight then I have 30 minutes,” Palmer said.

The full 30 hours must also be performed in a public space with a witness taking note of every song Palmer raps and a camera recording the full attempt.

Palmer reached out to many businesses in Provo to see if they would be willing to host, and Lowes Xtreme Airsports agreed to allow Palmer to rap in their space.

“Joshua approached us. He said Lowes was a place he loved to come,” general manager Vaughn Hokanson said. “We decided that we would be interested because we like to be a community, family-focused venue where fun things can happen.”

Rapping for 30 hours straight is no easy task, but Joshua Palmer’s brother, Joseph Palmer, said he is confident that Joshua can do it.

“When Josh told me he was going to do it, I was a bit nervous for him, but not surprised,” Joseph Palmer said. “When he’s faced with musical tasks that seem nearly impossible, he digs in with incredible determination.”

The public is welcome to come watch at Lowes Xtreme Airsports as Palmer attempts to break the world record. Admission costs $5, half of which will go to Affirmation, a group that supports LGBT members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Palmer will start rapping at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14, and anticipates ending around 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15.

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