Maya Angelou’s classic poems are about to be remixed into hip-hop. According to TheGrio.com, words from her book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will be heard in a new album entitled Caged Bird Songs.
The album will include 13-tracks an produced by Shawn Rivera and RoccStar. Although the project started without Angelou’s knowledge, the duo said she fully supported it once she heard about it. Angelou’s grandson, Colin A. Johnson, said his grandmother allowed the pair to record “Caged Bird Songs” in her home. Angelou also supplied them with unreleased vocals for the song.
“She just laughed,” Johnson said about Angelou’s initial reaction to the songs. This response was the same one she had when she first learned that she had her own Facebook page.
He also said that his grandmother was a fan of hip-hop, seeing the music as a way for people of this generation to communicate and convey messages. He added that she had “great stories about her interactions with Tupac (Shakur).”
Johnson hopes that the album will help youngsters connect with Angelou’s work just as they did with his own teen children. He also said his children no longer pick up books of poetry without them being assigned by school, or unless he assigns them. So hearing a poet’s message in music allows the words to reach younger generations.
He manages his grandmother’s estate along with his father Guy B. Johnson and also runs the Caged Bird Legacy, which will launch future Maya Angelou projects.
The album is due out November 4th.