A Rap Nerd's Guide to Pride and Prejudice
Most people who’ve read Jane Austen’s 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice have not done it because they wanted to. If you’re like me, you were forced to slowly page through its three hundred pages of stiff upper lip in high school. If you actually tried to read it, you most likely didn’t get it. I, for one, spent most of my time trying to figure out why these various rich people I couldn’t tell apart seemed to be so obsessed with the health benefits of taking short walks around their backyards. The majority didn’t even read it at all, because, well, reading takes time and effort and fatty bong rips and sex do too. You can’t really do both. Most likely, if you did well on the test, you had read its entry on Sparknotes, a website dedicated to sucking all of the life out of just about every piece of literature it could find and serving it like cafeteria fish sticks to burnt out honors students.
We probably would have really related to Elizabeth Bennet if we had seen books as anything but a part of a dead culture we wouldn’t need in the new and soulless age of the Internet. However, people tend to forget that Pride and Prejudice is actually the greatest novel in the English language (suck it Ulysses). Reading it is an experience that everyone who can read an English sentence deserves to experience. Once you get deep enough to distinguish between its numerous and very similarly named characters, you’ll realize that the novel is a deep and heartfelt study of the complex interaction of stubborn personalities that is a human relationship. Since Pride and Prejudice is currently celebrating its 200th birthday and you definitely should read it but probably haven’t, I decided to make your entryway into Jane Austen’s masterpiece a whole lot easier by comparing its many characters to various famous rappers you know and love. That makes sense, right?
ELIZABETH BENNET – THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G.
She’s the most likeable person in the world. She can be a little bit selfish at times, but you forgive her because she’s more in it for the fun than anything else. She uses her humor to stave off negative thoughts and a sneaking suspicion that her self-importance is unfounded. Despite all of the cleverness, she’s ultimately a Romantic in the fullest sense.
MR. DARCY – 50 CENT
He’s kind of great and worth your time but he’s also kind of a huge dick if you don’t get to know him first. He has a gigantic, but somehow justified ego and believes in himself enough to beef with anybody he has a problem with, including the girl he likes. He is very suspicious of those outside of what he sees to be his crew. In the end, however, you realize for some reason that he really cares.
MRS. BENNET – KANYE WEST
She’s got work to do and she’ll do it regardless of how it makes her look to others. With that said her lack of self-awareness and very singular goals embarrasses everyone around her.
MR. BENNET – JAY-Z
He’s a great dude who loves his family, but he tries to stay above any situation he thinks might not be worthy of his time. By the end of the book, you kind of wonder what he does with himself in this library that he never seems to want to leave.
MR. BINGLEY – GUCCI MANE
He’s an independent rich dude with a heart of gold who is also clueless and emotionally lazy. Thus he ends up doing stupid things that don’t communicate his feelings properly and hurt the people he likes.
JANE BENNET - NAS
She’s an equally excellent girl, far too pure for the world she lives in. This leads her to make silly decisions and not really know how to read the actions of others or further herself in the industry of marriage. She is legendarily beautiful but quickly passing her prime.
LYDIA – TUPAC
Absorbed in her own fantasy to the point that it gets dangerous and becomes a cruel reality. Holds her power with hunger, reckless abandon, and a serious chip on her shoulder.
LADY CATHERINE DE BOURGH – LUPE FIASCO
Mansplained two hundred years before mansplaining even existed and she wasn’t even a man. She pretends to care about the common people, but only does so as an extension of her own ego.
Colin Small does the Internet over here - @ColinSSmall