It would seem that my recent Chino XL interview is causing quite a stir over on allhiphop.com. Whilst there has been a lot of interest in the piece, perhaps partly due to the title “I’d S**t on Shakespeare,” many feel that perhaps Chino’s comments on Shakespeare were not justfied.
The controversial statement, “If Shakespeare was alive today, I’d s**t on any work he had and it would all rhyme and it would all make sense; it would be a complete story in 16 bars…,” has caused many to criticise Chino. Some people seemed to have overlooked the fact that Chino explicitly mentioned the importance of reading the works of people like Shakespeare and that he was not trying to undermine their significance. The statement in question, as he also explicitly maintained, was not referring to his own lyrical ability, but rather hip hop as a collective.
On face value, yes Chino did take on Shakespeare, but if you look a little deeper and reflect on his comments, then it becomes immeadiately clear that he is actually explaining the cultural impact of hip hop lyrics. In fact, he was completely accurate, as no matter how significant Shakespeare is in literary history, hip hop lyrics hold far more relevancy and have a far greater influence on the average allhiphop.com reader than the works of the bard. In modern society, surely it would be rather naive to believe that Shakespeare carries more weight than the lyrics of many modern artists. After all, I bet you can recite 2pac or Jay-Z lyrics, but how many of you can quote a passage from Hamlet?
(For the record: Chino can, as can I…)
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