‘This week’s best TV: Akala’s Odyssey – LICENSED TO ILIAD

Akala’s Odyssey, BBC4 | The British rapper Akala has been challenged to write a new song based on the epics of the original Homer boy. Here he travels to Delphi and Ithaca to find out how the 3,000-year-old Odyssey has had a so-far unacknowledged influence on his own work, shaped modern literature into the 21st century and helped form a national identity.’

The Times

‘Those with fixed notions about “high” and “low” culture might scoff at the idea of a hip-hop artist checking out Homer’s Odyssey. Akala, however, brother of Ms Dynamite, demonstrates that the original oral culture in which Homer’s poetry was disseminated wasn’t all that different from today’s rap battles. Travelling from Delphi to Ithaca, he takes us on a journey that encompasses national identity and the emergence of the written language before composing a piece inspired by the epic.’

David Stubbs – The Guardian

‘The rapper and poet explores the world of Homer and the Odyssey, to discover how an epic poem became the cornerstone of Western literature and how his own experiences have been impacted by a 3,000-year-old classic. Akala travels on a personal journey from the ruins of Troy to the high city of the Acropolis, looking at how language can create national identity and how the Odyssey endures today.’

Radio Times