Baba Brinkman wants modern teenagers to learn to love Geoffrey Chaucer’s classic Canterbury Tales as much as he does. So, the Canadian rap artist has translated some of the best-known works of the fourteenth-century poet into hip-hop in an effort to make them “more appealing.” According to Baba, “All the themes of rap music are there in the tales: jealousy, anger, greed, lust.” He had the idea of converting Chaucer into rap when he was working toward a masters’ degree on the poet nearly a decade ago. “I tried to keep the rap versions as close as possible to the original, so I went through the tales line-by-line,” he said. “It was a painstaking process to convert Chaucer into a rhyme scheme that young people would like."
Yeah! I bet!
Commenting on the translation effort Jonathan Dickson, an English professor at a prestigious East Coast university, asserted, "I’m sure a few uppity traditionalist-types might object. But hey dude, we’ve had rock-n-roll Shakespeare and goth Milton, so why not hip-hop Chaucer?”
Hmmm. I think I’d best refrain from commenting on electric-razzle-dazzle Shakepeare, street-wise-posse Chaucer, or hipper-than-thou Ivy League Lit profs lest I find myself relegated to the cultural backwater of uppitydom. But, haute-goth-drag Milton? About that, I really think I'm just gonna have to go on record as hopelessly moss-backed.