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Performing Dr. Seuss – from Michelle Obama to Dr. Dre

1 May 2020

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories

Dr. Seuss has many famous followers. Over the years, politicians, performers and other public figures have lined up to read Fox in Socks or The Cat in the Hat to congregations of kids (and sometimes adults): Michelle Obama, Monica Seles, Al Gore, Serena Williams, Jessica Alba, and the one from Sex and the City who isn’t as famous as the others.

Al Gore’s Green Eggs and Ham. Tom Sloan/AFP via Getty Images

All the same, your correspondent had never truly grasped the nuances of Seuss’s rhythms, nor how they relate to the restless, lopsided life of his pen-and-ink drawings, until he stumbled on the lockdown labours of a Milwaukee-based producer called Wes Tank.

Tank has busied himself in quarantine by rapping his way through the oeuvre of Dr. Seuss, laying down Green Eggs and Ham, The Lorax and other classics over beats by another doctor without a doctorate, Dr. Dre. Rakewell’s own favourite is Fox in Socks – or in this version, Fox in Sox. ‘Take it slowly,’ Seuss warns, ‘This book is dangerous!’… but Tank takes it at a chronic lick.

Beat that, Al Gore!

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.