Inferno Rap Translation by Hugo (2013)

Hugo_InfernoRap_coverIn July 2013, Melbourne-based hip hop artist Hugo released a rap translation of the first six cantos of Inferno.  Here is Hugo’s description of the project:

“Immortal innovators of the artform such as Rakim, Talib Kweli, Eminem, KRS One, Mos Def, Nas, Notorious BIG, Tupac Shakur and Pharoahe Monch, took this rap rhyming to incredible depths, exploring all angles of their own vernacular, spitting intricate multi-syllable rhymed verses over irresistible hip hop beats and delivering their version of the Dolce Stil Novo to an insatiable world, and in the process proving, like Dante, that their Vulgar vernacular could have global relevance in its eloquence.

“So, to this project. The basic agenda being simply to retranslate the Inferno using some of the forms of Rap – Multi-syllabic rhyme patterns, driving beats – to reengage with this epic medieval poem, and maybe contribute to garnering it a new audience. [ . . . ]” — YouTube

See the videos with lyrics here.

To listen to the full album, click here.

Contributed by Janet Gomez (PhD, Johns Hopkins University, 2015)