Finding Poetry in Rap

On Friday, the 5th graders welcomed Aleca Gleser to our library to share her form of poetry. Aleca writes a rap style of poetry. And as Kris commented, “Poetry + Rap = Prap”! She is a Prapper!


Aleca finds writing a way to release her thoughts and emotions about subjects important to her. In this excerpt from her poem, The Tragic Mulato, she raps about what it is like to be bi-racial, and not completely accepted her ethnic cultures.

She got the idea for her next rap when she was learning about different styles of poetry in class.

It’s always interesting to hear how writers get their ideas or begin the writing process. Because Aleca’s writing completely rhythmic, she relies heavily on the alphabet! At the top of each rough draft she writes the alphabet, which helps her to think of rhyming words for her pieces.

Like Katherine Applegate, she keeps an idea box, but it’s a slightly different style. She stores ideas on her phone! If she hears something that triggers an idea, or sees something, her phone acts as her storage device, ready at any given time.

Aleca writes free verse, preferring socially and politically movitated verses, similar to the origins of west coast hip hop in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Drawing attention to racial inequities or social injustice is the essence of her work. In her last rap, she talks about elevating the game, pushing a battle to rise above commercialism.


Thank you Aleca for visiting our school for National Poetry Month! We hope you keep writing!


Have you ever listened to rap poetry before?

What topic would you write about?




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7 thoughts on “Finding Poetry in Rap

  1. DEAR MRS. Hembree,
    I love the video!
    I also love the prapping she is doing!
    Is prapping a real thing or word?
    From, Rasmus.

  2. Dear Mrs Hembree,

    I just love the fact you can rap a poem. What a clever way of writing a poem. I must say Aleca is very clever as it takes great skill to combine both rapping and poetry and make it sound so good.

    I really loved the video of Aleca rapping as I was bobbing right along with her.
    The photo of you and Aleca was great too.

    Nice question what I would write a poem about I would have to write about my life living in the snowy mountains Mrs Hembree.

    What poem would you write Mrs Hembree?

    From your biggest fan down under,
    AA 🙂

  3. Dear Mrs Hembree,
    Awesome poetry post.

    It would be very difficult to rap and rhyme at the same time I do not think I could do that. Like AA said Aleca is very clever to rap and rhyme at the same time.

    Interesting question I have not heard of a rap poetry but when Aleca did her rap poem it is was really rather good.

    For my rap poetry I would write about books because I enjoy reading books.

    Well done Aleca. 🙂

    From your pal,

  4. There’s alot of rap out there that is poetry rap, it’s simply just a sub genre of unnamed rap. I myself write poetic rap.
    Doomtree is a good band that does this, their not really family oriented, but their raps are definitely not negative.
    Odd Future is a group of free spirits that does something similar, but THEY’RE NOT FAMILY ORIENTED, remember, poetry doesn’t have to be about something pleasant. Mainstream rap does not reflect rap as a whole, there’s a lot of ‘prappers’ out there, should check ’em out! And this was cool that this little girl figured it out so early and it seems to be truly her passion.

    • Dear Father Thought,
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment about Aleca’s talent as a poetic artist. Rap has such a negative reputation with many people, but I do enjoy rap that speaks honesty, passion and truth without the profanity. You are right, poetry doesn’t have to be about the pretty side of life at all. Some of the best is about tragic parts of history. In particular, I like a lot of the poetry that came out of the 60’s as a response to the Vietnam War.
      Thanks for visiting our blog,
      Julie Hembree

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