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Shakespeare is Hip-Hop

This CD and Teacher Resource Book feature 17 songs covering six of Shakespeare’s most-taught plays: Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream, Macbeth and Othello. 

Co-produced by Grammy-winning artist 9th Wonder, the Shakespeare is Hip-Hop CD includes raps of original Shakespearean lyrics as well as modern interpretations and classically performed monologues. The Teacher Resource Book includes everything a teacher needs to use Shakespeare is Hip-Hop in the classroom: annotated lyrics, synopses, character descriptions, exercises, lesson plans and more.

 

Listen to a Song


Play: A Midsummer Nights Dream, Act II, scene i
Concept: A modern interpretation of the moment when Puck is recognized by a fairy and gets a chance to brag about his exploits.
Lyrics: Shakespeare (Verse 1), Escher (Verse 2)

FAIRY
Either I mistake your shape and making quite,
Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite
Call’d Robin Goodfellow: are not you he
That frights the maidens of the villagery;
Skim milk, and sometimes labour in the quern
And bootless make the breathless housewife churn;
And sometime make the drink to bear no barm;
Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their harm?
Those that Hobgoblin call you and sweet Puck,
You do their work, and they shall have good luck:
Are not you he?

PUCK
Thou speak’st aright;
I am that merry wanderer of the night.
I jest to Oberon and make him smile
When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
Neighing in likeness of a filly foal:
And sometime lurk I in a gossip’s bowl,
In very likeness of a roasted crab,
And when she drinks, against her lips I bob
And on her wither’d dewlap pour the ale.
The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale,
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me;
Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,
And ‘tailor’ cries, and falls into a cough;
And then the whole quire hold their hips and laugh,
And waxen in their mirth and neeze and swear
A merrier hour was never wasted there.

Now everybody in the place to be,
If you’re down with the P U C,
Everybody say “Puck!”
Put your hands up, say “Puck!”

Now everybody in the place today,
If you’re down with the P U C to the K,
Say “Puck!” Put your hands up,
Say “Puck,” Say “Puck!” Like that!


FAIRY
Maybe I’m seeing things, am I really breathing?
Could it be that little joker
Raise the roof above the ceiling?
I’m reeling, you take on many forms like millions,
Call you Robin Goodfellow, more like Robin Williams.
You transform fast like Optimus Prime,
Right now you're Ugly Betty, next minute you're fine.
You’re that one dude who unscrewed the salt shaker tops,
Made a player pour a lot of salt on his tater tots.
That lady down in Texas with the Rolex
And the necklaces, sitting in her Lexus,
She was trying to go all fast and express,
But she can’t ‘cause you messed with her GPS.
Your favorite tools are whoopee cushions,
Pie in the face, banana peel,
Mouse Trap now I’m dying to play.
You make people embarrassed,
Now they’re crying with rage.
You uncaged my parrot, and now he’s flying away,
Is that you?


PUCK
That’s me, the P U C to the K,
I’ll teach you that life is just a game we play.
I’ll steal your TV, sell it back on eBay,
I’m too fast. Catch me? You better press replay.
I’m the mischief maker, the summertime shaker,
I take your top, then drop the top real later.
I mess with humans, because I hate your rules.
Only days I like are Halloween and April fools.
Think you’re cool?
I’ll switch your Bud Light with O’Doul’s,
When you sit down, I pull out your stool!
Fell on your backend, asking “yo, what happened?”
I got the tavern laughing, you’ll be grabbing an aspirin.
I’ll take you on a magic carpet ride like Aladdin or Jasmine.
Stop fronting son, you’re just a has-been.
Could never imagine the places I’ve been.
I draw things on the TV screen like John Madden...

Now everybody in the place to be,
If you’re down with the P U C,
Everybody say “Puck!”
Put your hands up, say “Puck!”

Now everybody in the place today,
If you’re down with the P U C to the K,
Say “Puck!” Put your hands up,
Say “Puck,” Say “Puck!” Like that!