Thug Notes, Gangsta Speak Summaries of Classical Literature

Turns out there’s a difference between being illiterate and ill literate. Sparky Sweets, PhD hosts Thug Notes a weekly series of gangsta speak dissertations on classic literary works via YouTube. Sweets delivers genuinely insightful, erudite reviews of books by the likes of Orwell, Huxley, Hawthorne, Dostoevsky, and even Tolkien. Along the way we get a kind of thesaurus of streetwise synonyms for “kill”. Murk, cap, ice… it turns out there’s a lot of murder in classic literature.

Join me as I drop some of da illest classical literature summary and analysis that yo ass ever heard. Educate yo self, son.

Dr. Sweets’ critiques touch on foils, motifs, themes, symbolism and all that. While he has major literary knowledge, he clearly brings a minor in philosophy–dropping Nietzsche quotes like they were über hot and explaining Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 with a pertinent dose of Heidegger. Here are a few choice off-the-shelf examples:

“Thug Notes” debuted on YouTube earlier this year. The name is a play on “Cliffs Notes” the original literary summary series for lazy high school students.

Sweets, who is from LA, claims to be a legit PhD and have an agenda to deflate the exclusivity of academia. In an interview he says he wants to inspire teachers:

Sometimes you have to seize it, and I hope Thug Notes inspires teachers to explore alternative methods to really engage their students. On a larger scale, I also hope that people realise that comedy is a powerful tool for education!

It seems to be working:

Thanks Tony Campanale!