Esa

Multi-Media Literary Hip-Hop Artist

Philadelphia, PA, USA

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I am a spoken word lyricist, writer, artist and storyteller. I have started a project designed to revise a series of 5 Shakespeare plays into spoken word hip-hop lyrics to be presented using various multi-media platforms including audio books, E-books, hard-copy books, film projects and live performances. The first story in this literary hip-hop spoken word series is titled... When the Knight Fell based on the play Othello by William Shakespeare.

In my formative years Directors like Spike Lee, movies like Love Jones and actors like Denzel Washington, Ice Cube and Will Smith made film accessible to me. Groups like Public Enemy, De La Soul, and A Tribe Called Quest as well as musicians Bob Marley, Sting, The Police, Sade and Traci Chapman also influenced my overall artistic development. These amazing hip-hop, pop and film artists had a profound impact on my complete adoration for music and movies. All of them captured my imagination at some point through their work in projects that exemplified great word play using powerful lyrics or writing that told exceptional stories. However, Laurence Fishburne’s performance as Othello with Kenneth Branagh as Iago in the film version of the play combined with my love for Hip-Hop and classic literature changed the way I saw movies and the potential way to tell a story. This combination of factors inspired me to develop a spoken word hip-hop musical interpretation of the play Othello designed to be performed as a VR audiobook as well as a live play.

My biggest challenge has been trying to find a group of like minded artist willing to play the roles of characters derived from a Shakespeare play performing only through the expression of spoken word / hip-hop lyrics.

Also it has been difficult to pull together the resources needed to record the the story and create the appropriate format to present it as a musical audiobook on a virtual reality platform.

Getting people to understand the combination of a full length Hip-Hop musical based on a Shakespeare play has been a bit of a challenge.