When it comes to Drake, there’s no question that many of his songs are reminiscent of letters to past lovers. So, writer, fitness guru and Shakespearian connoisseur David F Brand has translated Drake’s chart-topping single, “Hotline Bling,” into a Shakespearian poem called When Thy Messenger Alights.”
If you’re wondering why Brand would reformat a Drizzy track into an English novelty, just check out his website. He’s a New York University student who “translate[s] classic rap songs into Shakespearean-style iambic pentameter.”
Brands pens the author of When Thy Messenger Alights as Drakespeare, and uses the poem, comprised of eight stanzas, to tell the story of a man who recounts a lost lover and the letters they once shared. Brand trades in modern vernacular for 16th century English prose.
If you’re not quite sure how this crafty NYU student translated Drake into Shakespeare, here’s an example of a mere verse reformatted into a literary stanza.
Drake, on “Hotline Bling,” raps, “Ever since I left the city / You got a reputation for yourself now / Everybody knows and I feel left out / Girl you got me down, you got me stressed out / ‘Cause ever since I left the city / You started wearing less and going out more / Glasses of champagne out on the dance floor / Hangin’ with some girls I’ve never seen before.”
Drakespeare says, “Upon my depart, I learnt that gossips / Mark how thou debased they gentle portance / Bethink you a player in housewifery / In my head there is a kind of fighting / While I, traveller from my native North / Hear of your revelry, so thou hast doffed / Thy habit with potations thou caroused / Surrendered by your weird sisters, arous’d.”
To be or not to be, that is the real question. You can read the full poem at davidfbrand.com.
What do you think of David F Brand’s Shakespearian poetry of Drake’s song “Hotline Bling”? Tell us in the comments below.