Scrabble is turning 70, and to celebrate Mattel has collaborated with some of the most eminent voices of youth culture to create a short film dedicated to the evolution of language.
Babyface has corralled Liv Little, founding Editor-in-Chief of award winning online platform gal-dem, spoken word artist James Massiah, rapper and musician Jimothy Lacoste, multimedia artist Lotte Andersen, host of YouTube show ‘The Chicken Shop Date,’ Amelia Dimoldenberg, and instagram streetwear star Gully Guy Leo to explore the evolution of language and words, in a new film short by Joe Ridout.
The film demonstrates how Scrabble permeates popular culture, resonates with new generation talent, and how language evolves, morphs and surprises, "with a humble board game that continues to capture the nuances of today."
Scrabble has found its own place in popular culture over the past 70 years and has become a favourite to the likes of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Nokia, Harry Styles, Kylie, Tom Cruise, Barack Obama, and Madonna.
Musician Skepta has even said ‘Scrabble, it’s my favourite game,’ while Drake raps Triple Word Triple Letter Nobody Do It Better.’ An episode of The Simpsons saw Bart Simpson play the bogus word KWYJIBO for a huge score defining it as a ‘balding North American ape with a small chin,’ while in the TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid’s Tale, Joseph Fiennes as The Commander regularly invites Elizabeth Moss as Offred to secret nightime Scrabble sparring in his study.
James Massiah, who performs his exclusive ode to Scrabble within the film, said "Scrabble is my family's favourite game, especially around the holiday season. Great way to get together and it always has a funny way of stimulating some really rich conversation. Intimate, intelligent and always insightful."
Liv Little, added: "I think slang plays a really important role in the evolution of language. I didn’t realise until recently that slang meant secret language. I think when you look back to significance of people who’ve for their own safety and protection have had to speak in code or songs or other ways of communication, I think it’s incredibly significant, and as a South Londoner, there’s a certain tone or words that we might use, that other people might looks at us and think ‘What is that?’ and that varies based on borough, but also based on geographical location."