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Poetry and Hip Hop: One in the Same?

Guided Notes
Consider these guided notes your drafting space. You already have a first draft of
your poem and have performed it once before in small groups. As we go through
some of these literary elements, consider how you might use them in a different
way in your piece after listening to some of our examples.

Literary Devices: Create your own examples using the space below, or maybe youve already
included one in your piece already. Awesome! Write it down if you like. Or, you can write down an
example of a classmate using the device if it really speaks to you. You may also write down a different
example from another poem or rap song that come to mind.









Rhyme (Internal or End):

Imagery (Draw pictures of what a line with good imagery looks like below):

While you watch the Vox Rapping Deconstructed video, answer the following

What is a motive in rap music? Give an example:

While the end rhyme schemes are often simple in rap music, how do they compare to internal rhymes?
How do these types of rhymes, repetitions, and devices make songs more complex?

What literary devices did you spot in the video? Identify the device and which song it was used in.

Compare The Breaks to Lose Yourself in terms of rhyme and rhyme scheme. What differences do
you notice?

What methods did the presenter and others use to analyze rap music? How might you incorporate that
type of analysis to make your spoken word piece more complex?
Now Its Your Turn!: Look at the four bars that I have assigned to you and in your
groups, mark up what literary devices you see. Use different colored highlighters,
markers, or pens to denote those devices. Second, I want you to underline, circle,
or box together all the rhymes, alliteration, assonances, and consonances you
find. Last, in the empty space next to the lyrics, I want you to interpret the
meaning of the lines. How does the structure and meaning interact with one

Kanye West Hey Mama

I was three years old, when you and I moved to

the Chi
Late December, harsh winter gave me a cold
You fixed me up something that was good for my
Famous homemade chicken soup, can I have
another bowl?

Mos Def Mathematics

Streets too loud to ever hear freedom ring

Say evacuate your sleep, it's dangerous to dream
For ch-ching, cats get the "cha-pow!" You dead
Killing fields need blood to graze the cash cow

Chance the Rapper Sunday Candy

I come to Christmas for dinner, fifty rolls on my

Hella holes in my stocking, holding your pockets
in place
I like my love with a budget, I like my hugs with a
You smell like light gas, water, electricity, rent

Lauryn Hill Lost Ones

It's funny how money change a situation

Miscommunication lead to complication
My emancipation don't fit your equation
I was on the humble you on every station
Rap for Biographies and Narratives: Now we will be looking at how rap is used as a method of
storytelling (narrative). Here we will be examining meaning and looking for themes within the verses.
Below are whole lyrics for the portion of songs we will be listening to. You may also mark up these
verses as you wish to identify rhymes and literary devices, and to look for textual evidence to answer
the projected questions.

Lin-Manuel Miranda Alexander Hamilton

How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a
Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten
Spot in the Caribbean by providence,
impoverished, in squalor
Grow up to be a hero and a scholar?

The ten-dollar Founding Father without a father
Got a lot farther by working a lot harder
By being a lot smarter
By being a self-starter
By fourteen, they placed him in charge of a
trading charter

And every day while slaves were being
slaughtered and carted
Away across the waves, he struggled and kept his
guard up
Inside, he was longing for something to be a part
The brother was ready to beg, steal, borrow, or

Then a hurricane came, and devastation reigned
Our man saw his future drip, dripping down the
Put a pencil to his temple, connected it to his
And he wrote his first refrain, a testament to his
Talib Kweli For Women
I got off the 2 train in Brooklyn on my way to a session
Said let me help this woman up the stairs before I get to
We got in a conversation she said she a 107
Just her presence was a blessing and her essence was a lesson
She had her head wrapped
And long dreads that peeked out the back
Like antenna to help her get a sense of where she was at,
imagine that
Livin' a century, the strenght of her memories
Felt like an angel had been sent to me
She lived from n---- to colored to negro to black
To afro then african-american and right back to n----
You figure she'd be bitter in the twilight
But she alright, cuz she done seen the circle of life yo
Her skin was black like it was packed with melanin
Back in the days of slaves she packin' like Harriet Tubman
Her arms are long and she moves like a song
Feet with corns, hand with callouses
But her heart is warm and her hair is wooly
And it attract a lot of energy even negative
She gotta dead that the head wrap is her remedy
Her back is strong and she far from a vagabond
This is the back of the masters' whip used to crack upon
Strong enough to take all the pain, that's been
Inflicted again and again and again and again and flipped
It to the love for her children nothing else matters
What do they call her? They call her aunt Sara
Rap & Social Justice: Here we will be doing some similar investigation as with the last two songs,
with the added feature of examining how the songs resonate with contemporary issues. After we listen
to the songs as a class, use the space below to mark up for rhymes, meaning, and themes. How might
you use your piece to talk about a relevant social issue? Use the space next to the lyrics to write down
answers to the questions on the board.

Snow Tha Product Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)

Its a hard line when youre an import

Baby boy, it's hard times
When you ain't sent for
Racists feed the belly of the beast
With they pitchforks, rich chores
Done by the people that get ignored

Ya se arm
Ya se despertaron
Its a whole awakening
La alarma ya son hace rato
Los que quieren buscan
Pero nos apodan como vagos
We are the same ones
Hustling on every level
Ten los datos
Walk a mile in our shoes
Abrchense los zapatos
I been scoping ya dudes, yall ain't been working like I do
I'll outwork you, it hurts you
You claim Im stealing jobs though
Peter Piper claimed he picked them, he just underpaid
But there ain't a paper trail when you living in the
We're America's ghost writers, the credit's only
Its a matter of time before the checks all come

Immigrants, we get the job done
Vic Mensa Shades of Blue

Color of morning pee coming out of the sink

It's 2016, who would think
Kids in America don't have clean water to drink?
Like they cut the EBT, took 'em off of the link
I read a story about a woman with her daughter in
She got lead poisoning from showers in the morning
When the governor switched out the pipes to bring
the water in
To the city river 'cause he said they can't afford to get
clean water
So now the poor people get the shorter end
Of the stick, ain't that some bulls---?
Shorty thirsty, he just bought his fourth fifth
It's lead in the water gun, he dying from a full clip
Now you've got toddlers drinking toxic waste
While the people responsible still ain't caught no case
I don't get it man, I just ain't wit it man
They got Damn Daniel distracting you on Instagram
Back again with the all-white media coverage
They do it over and over like remedial subjects
The people with the least always gotta pay the most
We the first to go when they deleting them budgets
Can a n---- get his basic human rights?
Is that too much to ask? Should I say it more polite?
And everybody broke so we in the same boat
But would they let that b---- sink if we was white?
It got me shades of blue

Bridging from Poetry to Rap and Back to Poetry: Now we will get to watch rapper/singer
Lauryn Hills spoken word piece Motives and Thoughts as a class. While you watch the live
performance, take notes on the lyrics provided below. You may use the empty space to the right to
answer the questions.

Rotating bodies, confusion of sound

Negative imagery, holding us down
Social delusion, clearly constructed
Human condition, morals corrupted
Trapped in reaction, lawlessness, war
Dissatisfaction from bowels to core
Devil's technology, strategy for
Human mythologies, urban folklore
Sick of psychology, counterfeit cure
Wicked theology, robbing the poor
Scheme demonology mislead the pure
Strictly strategically studying war
Light shown in darkness, image exposed
Few can see through the new emperor's clothes
Lustful this hustle turn humans to hoes
When the blind lead the blind, just more trouble
and woes
It's the mind that they chose
Its designed to stay closed
Standard of jokers, court jester logic
Sick looking cosmics, from schoolyards to college
Primitive man with civilized knowledge
System collapse and he still won't acknowledge
God is the saviour, studies behavior
Trying to fix the mix mind that he gave ya
Stiff-necked scholars on prescription meds
Wishing their problems were all in their heads
Moral dilemma, pride is the root
Misguided from youth, heart divided from truth
Egyptians and Grecians, spiritually dead
Imperially led, by the gods in their heads
Motives and thoughts
Industrial wealth
Global economy, in it for self
Heart full of madness, covered with kind
Pleasure designed to take over your mind
Furnished in godliness, painted in good
This tainted priesthood got real saints
While classes in government, set up the veil
And cultivate minds for more mythical tales
Typical Hollywood follies good girl
While vice and corruption take over the world
Motives and thoughts
Check your motives and thoughts
Blind with the wickedness, deep in your heart
Modern day wickedness is all you've been taught
Lied to your neighbors, so you get ahead
Modern day trickery is all you've been fed
Motives and thoughts
Check your motives and thought