“21st Century Bard” ft. ‘7 of Clubs’ is Shakespeare as Hip Hop
Few acts have been as marginalized by the American hip hop / pop music industry than 7 of Clubs. They first emerged in 2005 being courted by arch rival imprints beneath Motown and Def Jam respectively. While the Motown imprint, headed by Irv and Chris “Gotti” Lorenzo was more artistically supportive; the Def Jam Imprint, headed by Russell Simmons, went beyond the call of duty assigning Gregory “Beef” Jones to manage 7 of Clubs.
This was the beginning of years of back and forth wherein Chris Gotti personally coached 7 of Clubs toward the sound of presumed greatest interest, while Beef aimed to make big things happen with the limited resources allocated to the new artist. The Manager tragically rejected an offer to open doing spoken word for The Roots on tour, without consulting the artist. Believing that “spoken word” would hamstring 7 of Clubs’ mass marketability, Beef hoped to avoid having them relegated to Def Poetry Jam. However, 7 of Clubs is inextricably Street Poetry and this shows in their new album 21st Century Bard, uncanny renditions of Shakespearean sonnets as Hip Hop songs.
The Artist is well known for Street Poetry performances North of Houston in Manhattan, where he has opened for The U.S. National Champion “slam poetry team” Team Urbana and hip hop’s finer poets such as Sage Francis. Although every word of 21st Century Bard is original Shakespearean text, the virtuosity of the Poet is quite evident. In addition to forthcoming albums of original material and a new book of post-election poetry, 7 of Clubs is remaining a critic of the popular music industry and its mindless glorification of vices. Preferring emotional and intelligent work, 7 of Clubs has proven that even Shakespeare would be the rare conscious and empathic artist in today’s industry. 7 of Clubs is presently in negotiation with the Hollywood Shakespeare company to bring an entire Shakespearean play to the big screen as a hip hop opera to follow their coming adaptation of Twelfth Night (2017). Stay tuned, visit the artist’s Bandcamp Page here to support their work.