Maya Angelou's Poetry Becomes Contemporary When Mixed With Hip-Hop Beats — VIDEO
Dr. Maya Angelou's poetry gets new life with a new project by Smooch Music. The iconic American writer and poet, who passed away in May of 2014, will posthumously release the album Caged Bird Songs, a musical collaboration that combines Dr. Angelou's spoken word performances with hip-hop. The result is a set of 13 tracks that keep the spirit behind Dr. Angelou's words while reinventing them into a beautiful musical experience.
According to Dr. Angelou's grandson, Colin A. Johnson, his grandmother — who began working with the producers on the project in early 2014, before her passing — would have been thrilled with the result of the project:
She loved everything, from pop to country and, of course, hip-hop. With her dedication to social activism and how she illuminated the struggles and injustices of the urban experience through prose, there’s a direct correlation to hip-hop today.
The album is produced by Shawn Rivera of R&B group Az Yet and RoccStar. The duo began working on the project before Dr. Angelou was involved, and once she learned of their desire to create an album, she happily backed the project. According to Johnson:
She was really excited about her words being presented in this way, and I’m glad her fans will now be able to hear it.
The album is currently available for pre-order on the Caged Bird Songs website. The album has already released a lyric video for the track "Still I Rise," and it's every bit as gorgeous as one would expect. You can purchase the album on November 4 on Amazon.