Angelou’s Iconic Poem Receives Hip-Hop Twist

by Rachel Baker on September 6, 2014

On November 4th, a 13-song new hip-hop album, titled “Caged Bird Songs” will be released by Smooch Music. Maya Angelou, who was a huge hip-hop fan completely backed the project when she first learned of it. Interestingly, her first autobiography was also a part of her last project.

Maya Angelou’s Iconic Poem Receives Hip-Hop Twist For New Album ‘Caged Bird Songs’.

The album — the title taken from Angelou’s classic 1969 book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” — is one of the last projects Angelou completed before she died in May, her grandson said in an interview Tuesday.

“Grandma loved it from the beginning,” Colin A. Johnson said of the album’s concept. “These guys were inspired by grandma’s work, which many people are, and felt like giving it a different medium of delivery to make it more obtainable to a larger group of people.”

Rivera and RoccStarr started working on the album before Angelou knew of it. Johnson, who is in charge of Angelou’s estate with his father Guy B. Johnson, said once she was aware, she completely backed the project, which was recorded at her North Carolina home. Some of the songs use previously recorded Angelou vocals, while others were recorded specifically for the project.

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