Thug Notes

Last updated
Thug Notes
GenreEducational, Comedy
Created byJared Bauer [1]
Written byJared Bauer, Joseph Salvaggio [1]
Presented byGreg Edwards
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)Jacob Salamon [1]
Running time3-6 minutes
Production company(s)Wisecrack, Inc.
Original network YouTube
Picture format1080p
Original releaseJune 3, 2013 (2013-06-03) 

Thug Notes is an American educational web series that summarizes and analyzes various literary works in a comedic manner. Thug Notes first aired on June 3, 2013, on YouTube, with the pilot episode centered on Crime and Punishment . [2] [3] The host of the series is Sparky Sweets, Ph.D., portrayed by actor and comedian Greg Edwards. [4] [5]



The series is presented by Sparky Sweets, Ph.D., in the character's "original gangster" style. [6]

The following is an example of Sweets' style from his analysis of To Kill a Mockingbird, one of his most popular: [6] "Only a jive-ass fool would bother capping a mockingbird, cause all them bitches do is just drop next-level beats for your enjoyment. So what my girl Harper trying to say is ratting on Boo Radley wouldn't do no good. It would only rid the hood of one more true-blue player." [7]

Explaining the usage of African-American Vernacular English within the series, Edwards stated, "but the truth is, the gift of literature is universal in meaning and should be made accessible to everyone on every plane. So, 'Thug Notes' is my way of trivializing academia's attempt at making literature exclusionary by showing that even high-brow academic concepts can be communicated in a clear and open fashion." [8] The style used by Edwards' character was a result of "frustration with the world of academia". [6]


01 Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoevsky
02 The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
03 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
04 Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell
05 Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
06 Lord of the Flies William Golding
07 Great Expectations Charles Dickens
08 The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger
09 Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë
10 Hamlet William Shakespeare
11 The Hobbit J. R. R. Tolkien
12 Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck
13 Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury
14 Brave New World Aldous Huxley
15 Beowulf Unknown
16 Animal Farm George Orwell
17 Moby-Dick Herman Melville
18 Odyssey Homer
19 The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne
20 Frankenstein Mary Shelley Halloween Special
21 Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
22 Macbeth William Shakespeare
23 The Crucible Arthur Miller
24 Inferno Dante Alighieri
25 The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway
26 Invisible Man Ralph Ellison
27 Notes from Underground Fyodor Dostoevsky
28 Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare
29 Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë
30 The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde
31 Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
32 All Quiet on the Western Front Erich Maria Remarque
33 Oedipus the King Sophocles Valentine's Day Special
34 A Separate Peace John Knowles
35 Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut
36 Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe
37 Grendel John Gardner
38 Catch-22 Joseph Heller
39 Ethan Frome Edith Wharton
40 Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain
41 The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner
42 A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man James Joyce
43 The Stranger Albert Camus
44 The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway
45 The Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas
46 The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck
47 The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoevsky
48 The Grand Inquisitor Fyodor Dostoevsky
49 Dune Frank Herbert
50 At the Mountains of Madness H. P. Lovecraft
51 The Giver Lois Lowry
52 The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins
53 The Metamorphosis Franz Kafka
54 One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez
55 Dracula Bram Stoker Halloween Special
56 Julius Caesar William Shakespeare
57 A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess
58 Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller
59 Othello William Shakespeare
60 A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens Christmas Special
61 The Raven Edgar Allan Poe
62 A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
63 A Raisin in the Sun Lorraine Hansberry Black History Month Special
64 Beloved Toni Morrison Black History Month Special
65 The Color Purple Alice Walker Black History Month Special
66 The Tell-Tale Heart Edgar Allan Poe
67 Fifty Shades of Grey E. L. James BET Short Episode
68 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll
69 Siddhartha Hermann Hesse
70 The Handmaid's Tale Margaret Atwood
71 Gone Girl Gillian Flynn
72 The Cat in the Hat Theodor Seuss Geisel Mother's Day Special
73 Watchmen Alan Moore
74 King Lear William Shakespeare
75 A Game of Thrones George R. R. Martin Part 1 of the A Song of Ice and Fire series
76 A Midsummer Night's Dream William Shakespeare
77 The Goldfinch Donna Tartt
78 The Outsiders S.E. Hinton
79 Go Set a Watchman Harper Lee
80 Doctor Faustus Christopher Marlowe
81 Ender's Game Orson Scott Card
82 The Fellowship of the Ring J. R. R. Tolkien Part 1 of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy
83 V for Vendetta Alan Moore
84 Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes
85 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe C. S. Lewis
86 No Country for Old Men Cormac McCarthy
87 Les Misérables Victor Hugo
88 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams
89 Life of Pi Yann Martel
90 Where the Red Fern Grows Wilson Rawls
91 The Fountainhead Ayn Rand
92 American Psycho Bret Easton Ellis
93 The Cask of Amontillado Edgar Allan Poe
94 Fight Club Chuck Palahniuk
95 A Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L'Engle
96 The Fall of the House of Usher Edgar Allan Poe
97 The Epic of Gilgamesh Unknown
98 Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
99 The Trial Franz Kafka
100 The Merchant of Venice William Shakespeare
101 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Ken Kesey
102 Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak
103 Horton Hears a Who! Theodor Seuss Geisel
104 Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson
105 Ready Player One Ernest Cline
106 No Country for Old Men The Great Gatsby & The Hobbit Cormac McCarthy, F. Scott Fitzgerald & JRR Tolkien This episode was to promote Thug Notes new podcast "Thug Notes: Get Lit"
107 It Stephen King
108 Emma Jane Austen


Thug Notes has been met with a cumulative view total of over 160 million (as of June 2017) [9] and critical acclaim. [4] Thug Notes's virality has been documented by mainstream news publications such as The New York Times and HuffPost . [10] [11] The Tampa Bay Times has noted that the series can be used as an educational tool. [8] However, The New York Times somewhat criticized the increase in the frequency of style of the series, stating "We have to put a stop to inappropriate hip-hop appropriation before we get the Fox News 'Rap the Headlines Hour' or 'Gangsta 60 Minutes'."

In 2014, Wisecrack/Thug Notes was listed on NewMediaRockstars Top 100 Channels, ranked at #94. [12]

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  1. 1 2 3 "We are the team behind Thug Notes, yo' main hookup for classic literature summary and analysis. AUA!". Reddit. February 11, 2014. Retrieved June 15, 2014.
  2. Crime and Punishment - Book Summary & Analysis by Thug Notes. Thug Notes. YouTube. June 3, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  3. "Thug Notes: Sparky Sweets, PhD Looks At 'Crime And Punishment' (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. June 4, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  4. 1 2 "Comedian-actor-writer Greg Edwards". PBS. March 20, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  5. "'Thug Notes': The Hardcore Way To Learn About Books [VIDEO]". Guy Code Blog. MTV. June 21, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  6. 1 2 3 Dobson, Miranda (August 14, 2013). "Thug Notes: YouTube comic brings literary Classics to the masses hip-hop style". The Independent. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  7. "Thug Notes: 'To Kill A Mockingbird' (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. June 25, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  8. 1 2 Hooper, Ernest (September 4, 2013). "'Thug Notes' delivers the innovation needed in education". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  9. "Thug Notes About". YouTube. June 11, 2014.
  10. Genzlinger, Neil (January 24, 2014). "Homies in Verona, Gangstas in Elsinore". The New York Times. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  11. Hartsell, Carol (January 28, 2014). "The Latest Episode Of 'Thug Notes' Gave Sparky Sweets The Giggles". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  12. "The NMR Top 100 YouTube Channels: 100 – 76!". New Media Rockstars. Retrieved 6 January 2015.