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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 August, 2004, 09:40 GMT 10:40 UK
Rappers take on the bards
Chief Poet Myrddin ap Dafydd and Aron Elias
The common ground between poets and rappers will be explored
The edgy world of hip-hop has confronted the centuries-old tradition of Welsh language poetry in an event reminiscent of the film 8 Mile.

Rapper Eminem popularised the idea of hip-hop competitions in the critically-acclaimed movie.

But instead of the underground clubs of Detroit, this battle was at a social club in Newport as part of the National Eisteddfod.

The performance was to explore links between rap music and poetry.

It is understood to be the first time this type of event had been held under the official eisteddfod banner.

Speaking before the event, Steffan Cravos, aka MC Sleifar, said he thought the event was going to be "interesting".

"The idea of playing around with poetry and rap has been going on for a while," he said.

Eminem in 8 Mile
Eminem takes part in hip-hop contests in 8 Mile

"It is about time it gets an official stamp with this performance.

Lisa Tiplady, from Llanelli, was one of the four poets who took part. She explained that that the evening was split up into three sections.

"It is a combination of both styles on three different themes," she said.

"A poet speaks and is answered by a rapper on that theme."

It is about breaking down barriers and borders between the two art forms
Leucu Siencyn, Welsh Academy

Ms Tiplady's work was recently featured in a film Dal Yma Nawr (Stay Here Now), which traced the 2,000 year bardic tradition and featured stars including Rhys Ifans, Ioan Gruffudd and Matthew Rhys.

She said she used a mixture of her old and new material for her performance.

Lleucu Siencyn from the Welsh Academy, which organised the night, said it was the first time such an event had been held at an eisteddfod.

"It's a one-off - we invited Wales' more urban poets while, interestingly, the rappers are all from rural areas.

"It is about breaking down barriers and borders between the two art forms.

"Rapping is a newer art, although rappers such as MC Saizmundo and MC Sleifar are well-established.

Lisa Tiplady
Lisa Tiplady was one of the four poets taking on the rappers

The evening could be developed into a touring show.

The poets who took part were Emyr Lewis, Grahame Davies, Lisa Tiplady and Elinor Wyn Reynolds.

On the other side, the rappers were Steffan Cravos (MC Sleifar), Deian ap Rhisiart (MC Saizmundo) and Aron Elias.


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