Anyone who’s ever attempted to curl up in an armchair and read a few paragraphs from Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales knows that it’s not exactly like reading Dan Brown. Chaucer’s Middle English doesn’t exactly roll of the tongue for most folks. This would seem to make Chaucer an unlikely target for a hip-hop makeover. Though, as we at Flocabulary know, it’s often the most unlikely targets that are most interesting when done through rap.
Here are 3 unique approaches to rapping Chaucer. In the first, a teacher does his best to “rap” Chaucer. It’s not exactly Jay-Z, but we’re not hatin’. Do your thing professor!
In the second, a group of guys give Chaucer a decidedly Beastie Boys feel, while still pronouncing every word in the proper Middle English.
Finally, our friend Baba Brinkman takes the tales and retells them in modern English. Baba has written lyrics for Flocabulary’s Word Up Project and Hip-Hop History of the World. We posted this unique video a year ago, but wanted to share it again.