“Othello: The Remix” Heads to Dubai

Dubai is not only the vibrant city where rappers converge to Instagram photos that make you feel bad about your current situation, but now it will also host a Shakespearean adaptation that bridges the gap between classic English literature and hip hop lyricism.

Othello: The Remix is a reworking of the tragedy Othello, written in 1603, and stays true to the moorish tale of jealousy, racism, betrayal and revenge–all with a hip hop edge, and it’s headed to Dubai in March.

If you’re a hip hop head, you might already see artists like Tupac, Biggie and Jay right up there with the works of Shakespeare, and this was part of the goal of playwright duo known as GQ – to show the intersection between the two distinct types of prose and lyrical expression.

The initials GQ stand for Gregory and Jeffrey Qaiyum, and the Chicago natives have spent much of the past 17 years reimagining the works of Shakespeare through a hip hop lens, gaining international acclaim with The Bomb-Itty of Errors and Funk It Up About Nothin’.

Gregory started to appreciate the writing of Shakespeare during his time at NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts, where he studied acting while pursuing a passion for rap. “At one point something clicked, and I was like, “Wow, this is music. These are musical notes,”’ he told TimeOut Dubai. ‘That’s when they came together. Something about the inherent musicality of the language of Shakespeare felt so much like the rapping we were doing.’

The adaptation casts Othello as a rap king in the vein of Jay-Z, with Cassio as a Vanilla Ice-like performer who signs a record deal before the far more talented underground sensation Iago. Desdemona is an aristocrat’s daughter who follows the trio on tour despite her father’s orders – she’s loved Othello since his first mix-tape. (via TimeOut Dubai)

Othello: The Remix will take place in Dubai through March 2015. If you’re on your international flow, you might want to stop through the city where your favorite artists love to do it up– for an experience where hip hop meets the global stage.


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