The more I read Chinese poetry the more I become convinced that Chinese poets and contemporary rappers are actually quite similar. Seriously! Chinese poets even had pen names and often went by multiple aliases! Also most classical Chinese poetry was once set to music, even though the music is no longer extant.
There are still differences of course, there were no ancient Chinese battle MCs (that we know of, although if there were that would be awesome). And Chinese poets had to observe complex and more fixed patterns related to the music and rhyme scheme they were using. However, some of these poems did become extremely popular as popular songs.
I'd love to do a project where I matched famous Chinese poet with a contemporary popular musician. You know, based on style, image, and general public perception of their personality. There's this one Tang shi I read that could totally be an emo song.