“In an information society, we should be encouraging kids to use ideas and be free to play that way.”

– MC Lars

Shakespeare played with words. He crafted them into beautiful compositions. He created new words and put them together poetically. He might not have been creating music but many of the things he was doing, we do in hip-hop culture. It’s not blasphemous to say either.

MC Lars breaks all of this down in his brilliant TED Talk entitled “The Hip-Hop of Shakespeare.”

He looks at the 3 elements of Shakespearean Tragedy (as we can see in the Biggie / 2Pac) as one example.

  1. Hero of High-Standing (2Pac)
  2. A Tragic Flaw (2Pac’s anger)
  3. Unfortunate Events (the East-Coast / West-Coast feud that spiraled out of control)

There is a lot of hip-hop in Shakespeare and vice versa. MC Lars illustrates it in this special and I add some additional music and commentary.

This is Know Your History, your monthly dose of hip-hop knowledge. Press play to be educated and entertained at the same time.

MC Lars – The Hip-Hop of Shakespeare (TED Talk)
MC Lars ft Krs-One – What is Hip-Hop?
2Pac – Hit ‘Em Up (snippet)
MC Lars – Rapbeth (Foul Is Fair)
James Brown – The Funky Drummer (snippet)
MC Lars – Mr. Raven (snippet)
RFKLA Hip-Hop Collective – The Mask of the Red Dead
MC Lars – Flow Like Poe
2Pac – Something Wicked This Way Comes
MC Lars and Watsky – Never Afraid

Thanks for listening!

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