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UO Today with The BreakBeat Poets

"The break beat is the earth of hip-hop, what rappers began to run couplets over, they extended those couplets to make verses and choruses, and began to slant rhyme and then jam and extend the line break and jam in odd, thrilling places." This excerpt, read by Kevin Coval, co-editor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop, exemplifies the relationship between hip-hop and...

What did Eminem mean when he rapped "amoxicillin's just not real enough?" How did Queen Latifah incorporate literary references into her hit song "U.N.I.T.Y?" Genius, a website that originated as "a platform for annotating clever rap lyrics," provides answers to these questions and many more. As the mission and work of the resource continues to expand, the founding principle remains: "Every song...
Teaching Poetry Through Rap

Educators may enjoy this lesson plan, Teaching Poetry Through Rap, which uses music as a model to teach metaphors and other literary techniques. The lesson opens with a game, "Rapper or Shakespeare?" modeled off of a TED Talk given by Akala (a British educator and rapper). The video of Akala's talk is embedded for reference. Next, the lesson examines popular "literary elements," including similes,...