Rap as Poetry

While many would disagree, many more would agree that rap, as a form of song lyrics, are analogous to poems as well.  In fact, an article on The Daily Beast was titled saying that “Americans Have Never Loved Poetry More–But They Call It Rap.”  In essence, that was the slant of today’s lesson.  Outlets such as The American Conservative and NPR are writing articles and blog posts asking exactly that.  Then again, educators such as myself and those at UPenn and Harvard have been using rap and song lyrics as evidence of modern pop cultural poetry for years.  I have found that this makes literature more interesting and relevant to students whilst showing examples of how assonance, end rhyme, and imagery are used outside of novels.  In essence, literature (and learning opportunities) are all around us!

After showing the students a brief clip where rapper Jay-Z is discussing how rap lyrics are akin to poetry, the students and I discussed a few examples of rap and analyzed as we had poems.




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