Tuesday, 23 October 2018

a slap in the face of public taste

Though the pronouncement from the Russian Minister of Culture that the first rapper was Soviet poet, graphic designer, playwright and actor Vladimir Mayakovsky (*1893 - †1930) struck me at first a little bit like Chancellor Gorkon saying “You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon,” but just as I was pleased to see the ministry warming to the music genre as a legitimate art form, I appreciated the introduction to Mayakovsky’s works and could see the assertion as an arguably valid one.
Authoring pieces with titles like the eponymous, Backbone Flute, A Cloud in Trousers (excerpt below), So this is How I Turned into a Dog and A Flying Proletarian, one of the original framers signatories to the Furturist Manifesto and accomplished propagandist (though his relation with the state was never fully reconciled or rehabilitated after censorship), Mayakovsky was at the very least what could be characterised as an early influencer, cultivating a brand for himself and one could easily adapt his verse to a beat.

Of grandfatherly gentleness I am devoid,
There’s not a single grey hair in my soul!
Thundering the world with the might of my voice,
By I go—handsome,