Lit hop is taking the world by storm. It’s essentially the hybrid music genre that combines — you guessed it — literature and hip hop, and is growing more and more prominent, one Shakespeare rap at a time.
MC Lars is one of the most prominent lit hop artists and one of the self-proclaimed beginners of the genre. He’s been making music since the early 2000s and has yet to stop, regularly releasing new music.
From “Forget About Jack” (about Jack Kerouac) to “Hey There Ophelia” (about Hamlet) to an entire EP about Edgar Allan Poe, this Stanford alum really does know what he’s talking about.
“Huck Finn’s on the Run” is a three-minute summary of “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” that can easily assist a student in understanding the novel, while keeping it light and easy to understand with actual quotes such as “Like a Tarantino film, stacking bodies in the hearse.”
“Hey There Ophelia” summarizes Hamlet as a whole, something that many people need (because Shakespeare is hard sometimes). Lars simplifies the play, keeping it easy to understand with phrases that are sure to stick in your brain (“This girl’s got more issues than Amy Winehouse” was literally my Instagram bio in high school) for that Shakespeare test you might have to take one day.
But MC Lars’s songs are more than just songs about people or specific stories, they actually teach the listeners something about the inner workings of literature rather than what’s on the surface.
“The Sonnet Song,” for example, literally raps what a sonnet is (from rhyme patterns to format) and mentions specific Shakespearean sonnets, such as Sonnet 126 and its missing couplet.
“Flow Like Poe” is another one of those educational songs that taught me more my freshman year of high school than my teacher did. Lars discusses anapests, iambs, trochees, pentameter, octameter and so on, while keeping the song catchy and appealing to his young audience.
MC Lars pumps out music like no one’s business, and it never fails to be something beautiful yet entertaining, with featured artists such as Weird Al Yancovic to K.Flay.