Today I will teach two poetry classes, one to 3rd graders and one to 5th graders. The theme is MONSTERS. They are to write poems from the point of view of a monster of their choosing and there are so many to choose from. At some point in the lesson I should probably play "The Monster Mash"
"The Monster Mash"and Screamin Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell on You" were my favorite Halloween jams as a kid, but then are there really many others?
Screamin' Jay is sexy, eery and straight up scary. The sax in this song is so dang sexy, it alone makes you want to shed your human skin and join the ranks of the monstrous. I know it's a silly song, I get that, but still, it's unnerving, right? In a really good way.
Later on this month I will teach a similar lesson at Marin Juvenile Hall for a class of 14-19 year olds. I'll use Nicki Minaj rap from Kanye West's "Monster" as an example and will probably play the song somewhere toward the end of class.
I'm not going to break down why this song is awesome right now because I don't really know how to talk about hip hop and not sound like a total chauncey. I will say that Nicki Minaj's contribution to "Monster" makes me feel immense heaps of hope. There hasn't been a lady-rapper on par with Missy Elliot since, well, Missy Elliot, but here she is. Nicki Minaj's style is as tight as Missy's or Jay's but with moments of sublime messiness a la ODB. It's just really, really creative writing. Shoot, you guys. It's exciting.
My brain isn't quite up and running yet or I'd try to say something articulate about the nature of "the monstrous" and and all that jazz and how we're all monstrous etc. etc., but I'm not going to right now because I sincerely feel like the living dead a little bit this morning.