Hip-Hop and Shakespeare

Hip-Hop & Shakespeare? Akala at TEDxAldeburgh

In a 20 minute video, filmed in 2011, Kingslee “Akala” Daley (a Hip-Hop artist who created The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company) presents a lecture and demonstrates the close connections and uncanny similarities between the poetry of Hip-Hop and the writing of ‘The Bard.’

Akala includes short, rap-style performances of poetry from Wu-Tang Clan and Shakespeare.

The knowledge and understanding gained by watching and listening will compel librarians to include both Hip-Hop and Shakespeare in effective collections of literature for young adults.

Topics addressed by Akala in the video include:

– preconceived notions of Hip-Hop and Shakespeare

– the functions of rhythm in poetry, especially as spoken word

– ‘Griots’ in medieval West African empires who transmitted “rhythmic oral poetry” traditions to future generations

– origins of Hip-Hop in New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s

– the concept of “custodians of knowledge” from all cultures and eras

– “unity in human cultures and ideas”

(Look for further information about Akala and his work at the website of The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company.)


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