Greg Tate: What Is Hip Hop?

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“Hip-hop is Ralph Ellison, who once said the blues is like running a razor blade along an open sore.” In this audio recording from the 1996 album Flippin’ the Script: Rap Meets Poetry released by Mouth Almighty Records, author and critic Greg Tate reads his poem “What Is Hip Hop?” The influential journalist and author of Flyboy in the Buttermilk: Essays on Contemporary America (Simon & Schuster, 1992), died at the age of sixty-three on December 7, 2021.

It Ain’t Hard to Tell

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In this Poetry in America video, hip-hop artist Nas sits down with Elisa New, professor of American Literature at Harvard University, to discuss his approach to writing and break down his lyrics. Poetry in America, created and directed by New, is a multi-platform initiative that encourages the spread of poetry through classes, conversations, and digital outreach.

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