Language Arts Unit: A Rap Textbook
Lulu.com, Jan 16, 2020 - 104 pages
Language Arts Unit: A Rap Textbook is an exploration of rap as theory and praxis, race as form and content, music as social mobilizer and opiate. In a winding, discursive prefatory note Rhys Langston Podell utilizes a biting, absurdist humor to seriously appraise the power of words, music, and all manner of extra-lingual connotations in the age of rapid-transit information technologies. As the written half of a multimedia project, what follows are the lyrics from his long play album, written as poems with the clever enjambment of his characteristically idiosyncratic wordplay. Taken together, the prose and verse of Language Arts Unit present "two forms talking between themselves as a product and response to the context of their creation: in one aspect, to write a lyric essay with sentences as bars, proposing a new, verbose sense of realness in a take-no-prisoners rapper's ethos of [trash]-talking between paragraphs; from another angle, to craft a rap album of nuance and expressionist poetics, proposing the form as an essential means of delivering ideas, one able to communicate complexities on various levels of understanding and comprehension."
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