No one has championed the connection between the centuries-old literature of Shakespeare and hip-hop music more than MOBO Award-winning UK rapper Akala, born Kingslee Daley, who was so moved by the similarities between the two that he founded The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company (THSC) in London. That's why we really appreciate geniuses like Shakespeare Lyrics, a Twitter account dedicated to translating pop songs into Shakespearean slang for the cultured and classy. Plays: 243040 Shares: 0 Players: 1247256 Favorites: 0. Point out that Shakespeare was writing in beats, lyrical beats so we can put them to hip hop beats. Hip-hop itself is a cultural movement that incorporates not just rap and rhyming but also graffiti painting, deejaying, and bboying (virile body language that philosopher Cornel West described as “postural semantics”). “Think of Titus Andronicus -- one guy doesn’t like some other guys, so he cuts them up and puts them in a pie and feeds them to the other guys’ parents. QUIZ: Are these lyrics from Shakespeare or the world of hip-hop? But hip-hop and freestyle and beatbox, which is all about meter and rhyme, is a fabulous way to enter that world. In conclusion, language, in hip-hop and rap music includes profanity, sexism, and slang, which we may consider arbitrary. That’s what’s interesting about the two art forms,” he said. “And the idea [of the workshops] was to get kids up on their feet and speak Shakespeare aloud.”, Then two years ago, at the suggestion of a fellow actor, Kelly decided to take a different tack: Incorporate music, specifically hip-hop, into a typical workshop. Fun quiz for students to guess whether provided quotes are from Shakespearean plays or popular rap songs. You’ll also receive a carefully curated list of content from teacher-trusted sources. This project was originally published in 2014 and recently updated in January 2019 with newer lyrics data and 75 additional artists, including Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty, Migos, and 21 Savage.. 88 Shares. That’s Wu-Tang again, that’s from a gentleman named Inspectah Deck. Leading up to the premiere of its new series Will, TNT teamed up with Genius to present some of the best Shakespeare references in rap. Focusing on productions that meld the two styles in experimental ways, THSC also provides workshops aimed at students to expand their understanding of what Shakespeare is, and what it could be. Though Shakespeare and hip-hop have a long history, certain artists have referenced the bard more than others. Listen to the words that Wu Tang had the audacity to use: words like cometh and benevolent. Check the video above for a full breakdown of rap’s best Shakespeare shout outs from A Tribe Called Quest, Danny Brown, Biz Markie, 2Pac, and more. A creative and enjoyable lesson, including a quiz and a group creative writing activity. As well as earning the group critical acclaim, the album drew attention to the ever-growing scene of Mayan rappers. “And so what happens is, we focus only on the meaning, and we forget that a ton of what Shakespeare is about is what it sounds like with the language, the meter and the rhyme. Watch Akala perform Sonnet 18 at 5:20 here: Peggy O’Brien, director of education at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., said often the study of Shakespeare can focus too much on what the words mean and not enough on what they sound and feel like. Shakespeare? Tony Cuddihy. Most recently, JAY-Z quoted Hamlet on “Marcy Me” off of his latest album, 4:44. I ONLY DID THIS FOR A SCHOOL PROJECT, ANY HATE COMMENTS WILL BE REPORTED AND REMOVED! When asked if teachers can use hip-hop to connect students to Shakespeare, she said, “Students can use hip-hop to connect themselves to Shakespeare. But the Brooklyn rapper’s affinity for Shakespeare goes back further than this, with a Macbeth reference on 2006’s “Do U Wanna Ride” and a Julius Caesar reference on 2013’s “FuckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt.”. A group of England-based, Renaissance-style musicians seem to think so. The word "Elizabethan" can refer to anything which resembles or is related to the Elizabethan era in England's history - the latter half of the 1500s when Queen Elizabeth I ruled. “The axiom I go by is, you learn Shakespeare by doing Shakespeare,” he said. “So if we can get that first intro to Shakespeare [through hip-hop], not even the language adapted, but just the way he wrote it through the meter and the rhyme -- that’s a great way to open that door.”. “The presentation itself, they loved,” Kelly said. Unfortunately, a majority of the language in rap and hip-hop music is inappropriate, offensive or “dirty.” If you actually listen to lyrics in rap and hip-hop … Akala performs Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 to various hip hop beats at TEDxAldeburgh. In addition to those four elements, Afrika Bambaataa insisted that “knowledge of self” is the official fifth element of hip-hop culture. Artistic director Michael Kelly had been bringing Shakespeare to schools in the greater Toronto area since 1987 with his company Shakespeare in Action, creating presentations and workshops for ages kindergarten through high school. This translator takes English as input and converts to Shakespeare English. Most recently, JAY-Z quoted Hamlet on “Marcy Me” off of his latest album, 4:44 . If Shakespeare were around today, he’d be doing what Lin-Manuel Miranda has done.” Miranda used hip-hop to tell the story of the "$10 founding father," Alexander Hamilton in this year’s smash Broadway musical, Hamilton. They focused on the rhythm and poetry of both art forms, and even designed a rap version of the "To be or not to be" soliloquy from Hamlet, comparing it with the themes of some present-day hip-hop songs. Readers recommend: songs about Shakespeare – results Whether it's pop songs about Romeo and Juliet or raps about the Prince of Tyre, here's the best of … Macbeth or Kanye West? Drake or The Taming of the Shrew? Hip-hop is a current form of verbal self-expression used within the urban community and, because of this, it could well serve as a good portal into the world of critical literacy. The Bard meets the Backstreet Boys in Pop Sonnets, a collection of 100 classic pop songs reimagined as Shakespearean sonnets.All of your favorite artists are represented in these pages—from Bon Jovi and Green Day to Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, and beyond. See more ideas about sonnets, songs, pop songs. Lesson Plan Rewriting Shakespeare. He pulled apart one of his traditional presentations featuring Shakespearean speeches from different plays, and revamped it with hip-hop beats and music. AJ says: "Because hip-hop tells stories, Shakespeare is a good subject. Founded in 2009 by BAFTA and MOBO award-winning UK hip hop artist Akala, The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company (‘THSC’) is a music theatre production company aimed at exploring the social, cultural and linguistic parallels between the works of William Shakespeare and that of modern day hip-hop … And with the music and the beats and the rapping, it makes an old subject brand new." “Shakespeare, like all great poetry, deals with what it means to be human: love, tragedy, war, violence,” Akala said. As the debate wages on about the Bard's relatability -- and whether or not relatability matters to begin with-- a hilarious Tumblr has surfaced that translates modern-day pop songs into Shakespearean sonnets. Songs & Videos; Language Arts; Math; Science; Social Studies; Life Skills; Vocabulary Tudor Playwrights Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, Gabriel Spenser take on Shakespeare himself in a rap/sing off. Subscribe to receive weekly updates of MindShift stories every Sunday. 22 pop songs reimagined as Shakespearean sonnets ... Every Thursday, Pop Sonnets does exactly that, most recently nipping ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” with a little Elizabethan flair. Though Shakespeare and hip-hop have a long history, certain artists have referenced the bard more than others. 16 Pop Songs Translated Into Shakespearean English It can get old really fast hearing the same pop songs over and over on the radio. “We will say [to the students], ‘Oh, isn’t that interesting? “I grew up listening to Chuck D and Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley, and all kinds of really deep, political social commentary forms of music,” he said. Language Arts Shakespeare is Hip-Hop This cutting-edge CD and Teacher Resource Book feature 17 original rap songs covering six of Shakespeare’s most-taught plays: Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth and Othello. His ever popular works ( dramas and poems ) makes his language style live even today. Every year on April 23, literary and drama aficionados worldwide honor the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, one of the most influential writers in the English language. But when first approaching it in high school, that’s a side that students don’t often see. And for me, growing up thousands of miles away from New York in London, it gave me a sense at 13 years old that intelligence was sexy, that it was interesting and attractive.”. Shakespeare loved to write, but didn't approve of what some of his friends got up to. But rap is only one of many hip-hop elements available to educators who teach Shakespeare. Shakespeare invented many words and his style of narration in many ways was unique to his time. Shakespeare used iambic pentameter to write his plays. His legacy can be seen in countless ways, from the curriculum of our English classes to the everyday use of the adjective “Shakespearean,” and even to the lyrics in our favorite songs. “Coming from a socioeconomically privileged background doesn’t make you more intelligent than anyone else. Overwhelmingly towards hip hop. O’Brien said that Shakespeare has been adapted to different times in history since nearly the moment he wrote the plays, and calls the trend to bring hip-hop and Shakespeare together a great one. “They’d go bananas when we would do it, and they loved all the musical stuff we put in there.”. Lecture: The Hip Hop of Shakespeare. Hip hop? By Maddie Crum. And you can get to meaning after that.”. Play the Shakespeare Rap (4:268:22). Both Shakespeare and hip-hop stretch and shape the usage of the English language, using imagery and especially rhythm to tell the story in a powerful way. They talked about Socrates. “So when I encountered Shakespeare in school, I immediately recognized the kind of genius in his work -- elaborate characterization and the rhythm, particularly.”, Part of the unofficial mission of THSC is to knock Shakespeare off its “high art” pedestal, which it certainly wasn’t considered in its time. Released on the anniversary of Shakespeare's birthday, a cluster of the genius' sonnets have been reworked into modern-pop songs on "Shakespeare… Created by: mckinnonkelly Language: English. In addition to providing a portal into critical literacy, using hip-hop in the classroom can promote a … In a recent TEDx Talk, Akala gave multiple examples of hip-hop songs that mimic the iambic rhythm (de-DUM de-DUM) that Shakespeare used for the vast majority of his verse -- the language and rhythm fused together in a style so similar that the audience had difficulty deciphering which verse was Shakespeare and which was hip-hop. “[Shakespeare] is the only book that we give to students that has footnotes everywhere, footnotes and glossaries, where we tell kids practically what every word means,” she said. Keep your students engaged using this Jazz Age history rap song as figurative language activities! The pupils need to try and translate the modern, well known songs (which are written in Shakespearean language) to work out the title or modern lyrics. We’ve culled together the best of the Pop Sonnets archive in the gallery up top. And that one, that is hip hop. Findings Part I: Content Analysis. If Shakespeare Wrote Pop Songs. Oct 4, 2015 - Explore gissella ♡'s board "songs as sonnets ♡" on Pinterest. Who We Are. Though the programs had changed and morphed over the years, the students remained enthusiastic and receptive to their style, which was first teaching kids about Shakespeare’s life and the times in which he lived and wrote, followed by getting kids up on their feet and speaking Shakespeare. In Kelly’s experience performing "Shakespeare Meets Hip-Hop" in schools, students get the connection. Growing up in London as the grandson of Jamaican immigrants, Akala felt commonalities with the roots of American hip-hop, which was born in the tumultuous neighborhoods of the Bronx in the 1970s. The group’s debut album Tributo a los 20 Nawales contains 20 impressive and deeply original songs. 400 years ago this guy was talking about this [suicide, indecision], so really, nothing has changed, has it?”, When they brought it to high schools, “Shakespeare Meets Hip-Hop” was an instant success. Using rap music to interpret Shakespeare is the most popular approach among educators when drawing connections between hip-hop and Shakespeare. Balam Ajpu are a hip-hop and reggae group from Guatemala City who perform in a mixture of Tz’utujil and Spanish. #shakespeare #rapper. If Biggie Smalls told that same story, people would say, ‘Why is Biggie promoting violence?’ ”. Using a content analysis method, this study analyzed the lyrics of 20 rap/hip-hop songs included in Billboard’s Year-End “Hot 100” singles list ranging from 2000-2010 (Refer to Table 1 on page 76). For people from my background -- children of working-class, immigrant populations -- we were inspired by Wu-Tang Clan, from the projects of Staten Island. Both art forms also feature some raw human behaviors and emotions — sex, jealousy, plotting and killing, to name just a few. They put the words into an intrinsic rhythm; even rap artists can still use his work. It compares the number of unique words used by some of the most famous artists in hip hop (that is, an example of a quantitive view of lyricism, once proposed by Tahir Hemphill). “Both rappers and Shakespeare, they’re talking about the struggle of humanity. YUP. O’Brien is eager to incorporate hip-hop into the programs at the Folger, and said she’s actively looking for musicians and hip-hop artists to work with. The song takes an in-depth look at the Roaring Twenties and the culture and history that surrounded the dev. "Shakespearean" refers to anything that resembles or relates to the works of William Shakespeare. Shakespeare may be the most quotable man in history, but is he the most musical? “In the sense of, if you’re not white and you don’t speak in a particular way and you don’t have money, then you’re not a 'legitimate' custodian of the knowledge. “It’s a captive audience because kids have to take Shakespeare in school,” she said. These figurative language worksheets with passage are based on our Jazz Age history rap song. Tune in to Will on July 10, 2017 on TNT. IV. But beyond finding the rhyming parallels between Jay-Z and the Bard, Akala seems to be on a broader mission, and that’s to bring a message to students that Shakespeare, or what many consider any “great” art, doesn’t belong to any one group. In a recent TEDx Talk, Akala gave multiple examples of hip-hop songs that mimic the iambic rhythm (de-DUM de-DUM) that Shakespeare used for the vast majority of his verse -- the language and rhythm fused together in a style so similar that the audience had difficulty deciphering which verse was Shakespeare and which was hip-hop. How Hip-Hop Can Bring Shakespeare to Life. 16th Century disco? In a recent TEDx Talk, Akala gave multiple examples of hip-hop songs that mimic the iambic rhythm (de-DUM de-DUM) that Shakespeare used for the vast majority of his verse—the language and rhythm fused together in a style so similar that the audience had difficulty deciphering which verse was Shakespeare’s and which was hip-hop. Lil Wayne or The Tempest? Akala said that Shakespeare was viewed by Elizabethans the way hip-hop is viewed today by middle-class Americans or British: “It was considered a little bit risky, a little bit naughty and dangerous.”. 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