Alliterative Verse has some similarities to rap songs. Both were sometimes composed during a performance, instead of before. Both have accentual rhythm. Both use poetic devices that repeat sounds. One difference is that Alliterative Verse uses alliteration in predictable ways, but rap uses rhyme, consonance, and assonance just as much, and sometimes in surprising ways. If the beginning of Beowulf were sung to the tune of Eminem's rap "Lose Yourself," it might sound like this:
Yo! I know you heard of the Scyldings already
When battle went down, the kings were deadly, swords steady
Each one did whatever he said he
Would do, and to grab onto more glory was ready.
Scyld started their line, looked mighty fine
Just a baby found a-bobbin' in a boat
Grew great so kings gave him silver and gold
Then a Beowulf was born,
Not the one whose story is told.
When King Beowulf died it was Halfdane's rule
He was famed as great-minded and was never cruel
His three sons were fine ones appearing in a row,
There was Heorogar, Hrothgar, and Halga the good.
And Yrsa that Onela loved as he should-yo!
But the best one was Beowulf, the bee wolf,
The bear in from the snow
He protected the people in trouble so
He was the best king, the best thing that they'd ever know.
When Heorogar died, then Hrothgar took over
A bad dude to cross, he created world order
From riots to ruling, the danger was cooling
As gold flowed the old knowed that something was brewing
Then Hrothgar revealed his new master plan
The building he'd choose was a palace for booze
to show the hood who is the man!
A hovel it was not, it was called Heorot,
but when the partying started the guests were all caught
By a creature who'd feature in a nightmare
where if he'd meet ya
he'd shred you then eat ya
He threw thirty thanes right out in the street - yeah -
The place Hrothgar built was bloody,
was the stink
when he'd think
of the blood
that was spilt
for twelve rotten years,
there was rage, fight, and tears
As Grendel nightly ground them in his gears
The bravest ones died, all the others turned tail
from the monstah who'd munch ya
even if you wore mail.