Hip-Hop Version Of “Othello” Is A Hit Behind Bars

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On the track “Excursions” from their 1991 album “Low End Theory,” rapper Q-Tip brags that he’s an Abstract Poet, “prominent like Shakespeare.”  It was a call for respect and recognition that has rippled out into places few would expect.

Chicago brothers Gregory and Jeffrey Quiyum, known professionally as rappers GQ and JQ,  have remixed several of Shakespeare’s plays into modern interpretations, the latest being “Othello: The Remix.”

Members of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater have been performing their revamped play (MC Othello is a rap star turned mogul who is promoting a rapper named Cassio, nemesis of another rapper Lago) in attempts to connect with the literally captive audience.

“The story of Othello and the way we paint it is very much of an outsider who kind of never feels like he’s at home and I think that will be pretty relatable,” JQ told The Seattle Times. “(It) really comes down to choices and repercussions and often times, poor choices. I can’t imagine that some people in there are not going to feel that.”

“Othello never knew,He was getting schemed on by a member of his crew.”

It seems that they are right. Kristy Montgomery, a 29-year-old inmate, found an important message in “Othello: The Remix”.

“Be careful of who you affiliate yourself with because they might not actually be your friends. They might be somebody who wants to bring you down.”

READ THE FULL STORY HERE.

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