The Ancient Greek bards were rappers. The Iliad and the Odyssey were rap songs ... about rape and slaughter. The epic poems like the Anglo-Saxon Beowulf and the Norse poetic Eddas were equally barbaric reinventions of the Ancient tradition.
Rap is all about beat rather than melody. The ancient Greek epics were chanted. Non-existent melody, so-so rhymes, but very strong beat and rhythm. Also, it may be difficult to believe but as non-melodic and violent as rap is, ancient epics were worse.
This is the first time I've noticed it. I'm used to thinking of the ancient epics as really shitty murderous stories. Because that's the known-wrong belief in the literature departments which all consider the Iliad to be something written for purposes of territorial appropriation.
Well, they weren't. They were really shitty trance-inducing murderous rap songs. It kinda strips all the allure off of the Iliad, assuming it has any, when you put it in proper context. Not something alien and primitive, but very familiar and primitive. Or just primitive.
Academic types have a real blind spot to this because they can't be seen, or even THINK, that they're wasting their time studying something low class. Even when they compare the Iliad TO rap, they minimize the resemblance, saying it's "freestyle like jazz and rap". Jazz? WTF?!
It's why performers say stupid shit like "rap Iliad" instead of "original Iliad". If anything, their performances are weak and not nearly hardcore enough because the Iliad was more rap than rap. It was more violent and less melodic than all but the most extreme gangster rap.Oh and the Iliad is not a poem except in the loosest sense. And Homer was never a poet anymore than he was a writer or a singer (he was a scribe). We don't call rap songs 'poems', we call them rap. And the Iliad? The Iliad is not "like" rap. The Iliad IS rap!