Eight plays written by the greatest playwright of all time meet eight hip hop/rap songs by some of the greatest artists of our generation in 411 Dramaturgy Co.’s Hip Hop Shakespeare Live Music Videos.
Performer Melanie Karin tells you why you should see Hip Hop Shakespeare Live Music Videos
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Hip Hop Shakespeare is a gangsta rap re-interpretation of some of the Bard’s most famous plays, further proving that Shakespeare is the artistic equivalent of chocolate and bacon: there is literally nothing it won’t go with. The show consists of famous hip hop and rap songs with lyrics changed to tell a Shakespeare play. What’s most intriguing about the show is how well Melanie Karin and David Benedict chose their songs so that very little of the main lyrics needed changing because they fit in perfectly with the subject. You can see Othello retold through Jay-Z’s “99 Problems”. Or Romeo and Juliet sung through “Ms. Jackson” by Outkast.
Their performances were strong, too, with both members of the duo bringing attitude and character to their singing. While in some moments, it felt flat, for the most part they weren’t just singing, they were performing. It’s a pleasure to see some of your favorite Shakespeare plays reimagined through a hip hop lens and sits contentedly at a three — with a plus one for hardcore Shakespeare junkies.
Photos for this article taken for Production Ottawa by Production Ottawa photographer, David Pasho.