The concept of the “rap battle” has existed since the 5th century, where poets would engage in “flyting,” a spoken word event where poets would insult one another in verse. The Norse god Loki is noted as having insulted other gods in verse. factsource
You don’t have to separate these things with Jefferson. He can have written this incredible document and several incredible documents that we all believe in – and he s-u-u-ucks. Those are both true and those have to be both true. I think we really have to stop separating them because that’s where you get into trouble. That’s where you stop letting people be whole people. I disagree politically with a lot of rappers that I listen to, you know what I’m saying? There’s, like, rampant misogyny and homophobia in a lot of rap music. That doesn’t make them less brilliant rappers – they’re both true.
Daveed Diggs, speaking truth about how we should perceive Thomas Jefferson and other historical figures as well as how we should perceive people today, in the unsurprisingly excellent Hamilton’s America documentary from PBS.