Is It Hip Hop Or Shakespeare?

A quick pop quiz for you, do you think the quotes below words are from a hip hop track or Shakespeare play?

  1. “To destroy the beauty from which one came”
  2. “Maybe it’s hatred I spew, maybe it’s food for the spirit”
  3. “Men would rather use their broken records than their bare hands”
  4. “I was not born under a rhyming planet”
  5. “The most benevolent king communicates through your dreams”
  6. “Socrates, philosophy and hypotheses can’t define me”

Answers are at the bottom of this post…and may surprise you! The examples are taken from the extraordinary talk MOBO award-winning Akala from the Hip Hop Shakespeare Company gives to TedTalk. In the gripping 20 minute talk Akala talks iambic pentameter, gives sonnet 18 – “shall I compare thee to a summer’s day” – a hip hop makeover and explores the connections between Shakespeare and hip hop.


Pop quiz answers:

  1. Hip hop: Jay-Zee
  2. Hip hop: Eminem
  3. Shakespeare: Othello
  4. Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing
  5. Hip hop: Wu-Tang Clan
  6. Hip hop:  Wu-Tang Clan
Hip hop Shakespeare

Hip hop Shakespeare

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1 reply
  1. Duncan Archibald McEachern
    Duncan Archibald McEachern says:

    I believe that in quotation three you should have written “weapons” instead of “records”


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