The Grio is reporting that excerpts from Maya Angelou’s book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will be incorporated into a hip-hop album entitled Caged Bird Songs.
The songs are produced by Shawn Rivera and RoccStar. Rivera is the lead singer of the R&B group Az Yet. Roccstar is known for co-writing “Fine China” by Chris Brown.
Maya Angelou’s grandson Colin A. Johnson expressed that Angelou was in love with the concept of the album from the beginning. The author reports:
“Johnson said that the pair of musicians had started working on the project without Angelou’s knowledge. She eventually backed the project once she found out about it, even going as far as lending previously recorded vocals and using her home in North Carolina as a place to record the tracks.
He [Colin] 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).”
Dr. Angelou’s poetry was previously used in the film Poetic Justice (1993), starring Janet Jackson and the late rapper Tupac Shakur. The film was directed by John Singleton. It is hoped that this project with AZ Yet will help deliver the messages of Dr. Angelou’s books to a younger audience, who may otherwise never experience Dr. Angelou’s words, particularly because many of her works have been banned from school systems.
The album will consist of thirteen songs and is set to be released November 4 of this year through Smooch Music.
Read more at TheGrio.com.
This post was written by Reginald Calhoun, editorial assistant for The Burton Wire. Follow him on Twitter @IRMarsean.
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