TEDx examines the similarities between hip-hop and Shakespeare
December 7, 2011
In today’s video, Akala, a gentleman from London who represents the Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company, gives a lecture at TEDxAldeburgh (another lecture, I know) demonstrating the parallels between Shakespeare and hip-hop. Mr. Akala examines how both created art for less affluent classes (90% of Shakespeare’s audience couldn’t read nor write, nor speak the Queen’s English), both high-minded and complex despite modest upbringings, and both utilizing plenty of iambic pentameter (he raps Shakespeare’s lines over a beat to demonstrate). Much of the speech is familiar territory for us, explaining hip-hop’s high-minded origins and the lyrical complexity of Wu-Tang, but Akala also goes into the context of Shakespeare’s art, where 16th century England seems to mesh rather well with 70’s South Bronx.