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The Glory of Rapping for Writer Miguel de Cervantes

Raphael Minder - The New York Times
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July 27, 2016

Rappers in Mexico Transform Cervantes' Works Into Hip Hop (CCTV America)

“Rap in Cervantes” is among the innovative celebrations being held this year to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of Cervantes. It is a trans-Atlantic occasion, coordinated between two annual theater events — the Almagro Classical Theater Festival in central Spain, and the Festival Internacional Cervantino in Guanajuato in central Mexico. Guanajuato will repeat the rap competition in October, with the same group of six finalists.

The winner in Spain, as in Mexico, picks up 2,000 euros in cash, about $2,200. But many of the artists said they viewed the event not in terms of winning but as an opportunity to bridge street and “high” culture.

Alfredo Martínez, 30, who comes from Tijuana and calls himself Danger, said: “We’ve been too separated, often stigmatized by society for being at a lower level culturally, but it’s also true many rappers are just content with believing that all of what they do has to come from the street. I certainly want to do an intelligent hip-hop, based on culture.”

Cervantes became famous thanks mainly to his Don Quixote of La Mancha. But he also suffered some major setbacks, particularly with his plays, which were mostly flops and were overshadowed by the works of his main rival, Lope de Vega, and other playwrights of the so-called Golden Age of Spanish literature.

Read the rest at The New York Times

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