After venting to my daughters (16 and 12) my oldest looked at me and casually said "You should play that Taylor Swift rap." oh yeah, that Taylor Swift rap. I actually have heard that, looonggg ago. My younger daughter immediately backed up her sister and I knew without listening that it would be great.
And it is! Current, catchy, APPROPRIATE, funny and engaging. In the middle of a poetry month I can ask for nothing more.
There is a clip of JayZ discussing our exact question: is Rap Poetry? He makes valid points and is thoughtful in his presentation. The problem is that the song titles he discusses have titles such as "Pimping" and I don't want to discuss that with elementary kids. I would love to share this interview with my students and share JayZ's POV but that's more of a late middle school conversation.