Wretch 32: ‘Rappers are the modern-day Shakespeares’

Hip-hop star reckons he and his contemporaries are the Bards of the 21st century

Wretch 32 has claimed that rappers are the modern-day equivalent to William Shakespeare.

Speaking to The Sun, the hip-hop star said he and his contemporaries were the equals of arguably the world’s most famous playwright, and suggested that the likes of Jay-Z were on a par with the Bard for lyrical skill.

“Shakespeare was an expert at storytelling, coming up with similes and metaphors,” he said. “The ability to be speaking about one thing, while actually referring to something else, is one thing that he did brilliantly.


“And that’s what a good rapper should be able to do. We’re always using double meaning,” he added. “On that front, the comparison with Jay-Z makes perfect sense. He’s always talking metaphorically – and his songs have a lot of depth. You could hear something new every time you listen to them.”

Wretch then went on to explore the similarities between him and Shakespeare, stating:

Take my track ‘Don’t Go’, which was, on the surface, a love song. But I actually wrote it about my love for music. At first, when I told people that, they didn’t get it at all but, after a few listens, it clicked. And that’s something that Shakespeare started.

He also drew comparisons between the great literary figure and Eminem as they both “share a love of puns”, adding: “Eminem also loves to work hard on his syllables and make sure everything rhymes where it should. Which, if you read his works, applies to Shakespeare, too. His appeal has lasted so long because he was the best at what he did.”

Wretch 32 released his debut album, ‘Black And White’, in August last year, and is currently thought to be working on the follow-up to the LP.


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