Monday, April 23, 2007

The Rap Canterbury Tales

Saturday's post about the giant squirrel rapping classic poetry reminded my friend Karl about seeing a live performance of a rap version of Chaucer's medieval masterpiece "Canterbury Tales." A quick inter-webular search revealed Baba Brinkman's site, a chap from Vancouver who has an M.A. in Medieval and Renaissance English Literature, and whose thesis "drew parallels between the worlds of rap music and literary poetry."

His album "The Rap Canterbury Tales" puts a modern hip-hop spin on the tales - if eminem had a graduate degree in classical literature it might sound a little something like this:

Baba Brinkman: The Miller's Tale - about a dirty Medieval gurrrl.
Baba Brinkman: The Pardoner's Tale - some drunks in a bar want to beat up Death; kinda reminds me of "Billy & Ted's Bogus Journey" (now there's a high-brow reference for ya).
Baba Brinkman: The Wife of Bath's Tale - another pretty interesting story about a knight who has to have sex with a scary old lady.

You must admit: not many hard-core MCs can claim to have a "Teaching Resources" page on their website.


Anonymous said...

I wasn't expecting much, but that stuff was so interesting I actually kinda wanna read "Canterbury Tales" now. Which I'll probly regret two paragraphs in, but still...

Mr Fab said...

He has summaries of the stories on his site if you are intimidated by the prospect of actually reading the real thing.