Storytelling began fireside,
In Africa, with hunter gatherer tribes.
It’s deeper than the Tales we have from Canterbury;
In fact, it’s woven into the fabric of humanity.
For thousands of years there was only one news source:
The bard, the griot, the troubadour.
The master of ceremonial rhymes and meters,
From the fireside vibe to the hi-fi speakers,
Just applying the skill of words.
That’s how the bard would thrill the villagers,
And how today’s MCs kill a verse: verbal artistry.
Biggie Smalls, Eminem, and Geoffrey Chaucer fathered me.
Masters of storytelling, more compelling
Than sit-coms brought to you by the father of Tori Spelling.
But before we get to Chaucer, I want to share a little piece
That’s much older – it’s from the ancient Middle East.
‘Cause this is bigger than me; it’s bigger than you, it’s bigger than rap.
It’s bigger than fingers on triggers and bigger than gangsters slingin’ the crack.
That’s just the latest version of an ancient story,
The rage of warriors hungry for fame and glory.
I’ll show you how deep it goes by opening
With the oldest story that people even know.
I mean, thousands of years before the Anglo-Saxons;
It’s brought to you now through the magic of Penguin Classics.