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Maya Angelou's words set to hip-hop beats for new rap album

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Sep 03, 2014 | 7:57pm EDT

Late U.S. poet Maya Angelou's words have been turned into hip-hop lyrics for a new rap album. R&B singer Shawn Rivera and songwriter RoccStarr have teamed up to rework the beloved writer's words for Caged Bird Songs, which will be released in November (14). And the duo got Angelou's blessing before she died in May (14) - her grandson Colin Johnson says, "Grandma loved it from the beginning. These guys were inspired by grandma's work, which many people are, and felt like giving it a different medium of delivery to make it more obtainable to a larger group of people." The album was partly recorded at the I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings writer's home in North Carolina. Johnson adds, "She loved it and was excited to hear more about what they wanted to do. She had a lot of energy around it." It won't be Angelou's first foray into music - she released an album of calypso songs and collaborated with soul duo Ashford & Simpson on their 1996 album Been Found. She also featured on Common's 2011 album, The Dreamer/The Believer.

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