Hip hop. Haiku. What do they have in common?

Poetry is the first element of hip hop, according to hip hop producer Russell Simmons, founder of Def Jam Records. Gotta respect the wordsmiths.

And both hip hop and haiku are part of Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam, a show that explores contemporary urban culture through poetry, spoken word, and music. Think slam poets, DJs, and performance art with a biting edge. This Tony Award-winning production features nine poets: Black Ice, Georgia Me, Lemon, Poetri, Staceyann Chin, Suheir Hammad, Flaco Navaja, Ishle Park, Shihan and DJ Reborn.

Catch this show during a one-night engagement at the Paramount Theatre on Thursday, January 20.