Hip Hop and Shakespeare
In reading the excellent posts in the weeks since our meeting, I’ve been thinking a lot about how we enliven words on a page for our students, and the intersections between the projects our students are going to participate in this year. My first thought was the relationship between language and imagery, or the performance inherent to all these art forms…and then I remembered this Ted Talk from a few years ago and thought I’d share. This is Akala, a British rapper, discussing the similarities between hip hop and Shakespeare’s iambic pentameter–that both are forms which adhere to a rhythmic structure, and that it is this structure as much as the words themselves that create meaning (true of spoken word as well, of course).
He also brings up my favorite fact about iambic pentameter, which is that it’s the rhythm of your heart–that it comes from within, instead of without. Not only is this a great way into Shakespeare, but a great way to talk about the rigor inherent to all art forms, as well as the stigmas that we bring to our own experience of art.