Posts By: Ronan Hatfull

“I’m Jay-Z on a bad day, Shakespeare on my worst days”: When rappers cite Shakespeare

The conversation around Shakespeare and hip-hop to date has tended to focus on either their linguistic malleability or the racial politics which surround the enmeshment of an originally African-American cultural movement with the work of a white playwright who, in the eyes of many, symbolizes English power and cultural authority. However, when artists reference Shakespeare’s name itself, to what uses do they put the playwright’s reputation and how do those purposes differ when his name is cited by artists of different ethnicities and genders?