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Fellow Dan-el Padilla Peralta Writes on Hip-hop and the Classics

Fellows, SOF Fellows

June 11, 2015
The Sword of Damocles by Richard Westall

Fellow and Lecturer in Classics, Dan-el Padilla Peralta, writes for the journal Eidolon about the relationship between hip-hop and the classics, and the classics of hip-hop. In a piece titled, "From Damocles to Socrates: The Classics in/of Hip-Hop" Peralta notes the consistent inclusion of classic Greek narratives by some of the most well-known rappers. The imagery and art used in the Marco Brambilla-directed video for Kaye West's "Power," off the album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, referenced the Richard Westall painting "The Sword of Damocles." Padilla argues that Jay-Z mentions Plato's Euthyphro in raps because, in part, he is motivated by his own "obsession with positioning himself as a Plato to his Socrates — Biggie, the man whose hip-hop mantle Jay-Z has long laid claim to inheriting." Diddy is Xenophon. And so on. The connections are never ending. The reading is fascinating.

Read the entire piece here.