Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Rappers Agonistic Lyrics as the Continuation of an Ancient Tradition

Rappers famously put other rappers down in their lyrics. But for those of you who might be tempted to write this off as some bit of modern decadence, not so fast: in Homo Ludens, Johan Huizinga extensively documents what he calls "slanging" matches, consisting in outdoing oen's opponent at being insulting, finding them in ancient China, ancient Rome, pre-Islamic Arabia, the Eddas, Beowulf, The Pilgrimage of Charlemagne, and more.

So next time you bump into Eminem, tell him you like the ancient, traditional slanging that he performs.

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