One of my greatest loves is Hip-hop. I remember hearing my cousins playing it while growing up, but back then I didn’t understand it. Truthfully, I thought it was ghetto. I rejected it. It wasn’t until I was older that I began really listening to what was being said over these booming beats, only then did I realize that Hip-hop wasn’t just a genre of music, but a way of life. Now the words of De La Soul, Q-tip, Strange Fruit Project, J. Cole, and most recently female MC Nitty Scott breed new thoughts in my brain as their music flows through my veins.
At it bases Hip-hop is story telling, in the same way country music is story telling. It is in it’s rawness that Hip-Hop tells the story of struggle and resilience, the story of the human condition. In this way the essence of Hip-Hop is theatrical.
A few years ago I remember seeing Will Power’s THE SEVEN at La Jolla Playhouse and being caught off guard by it. The work spoke to me, but I was embarrassed that it did. Somewhere along the line Hip-hop became tainted for me. I couldn’t see the art in, because of all the negative projection I felt my peers had towards it. However over the past year when I came across THE HIP-HOP THEATRE FESTIVAL, the world of Hip-hop Theatre has became alive for me in an entirely new way. The festival takes place once a year in a few different cities, but namely New York. Check it out–Hip-Hop Theatre Festival
One of the projects birthed out of this festival, SEED by Radha Blank, particularly interested me. As I unpacked what about the play spoke to me, I found that it was the poetic language and spoken word which accelerated the story in a visceral way that interested me. It’s like carefully placed word vomit. In a recent interview with director Radha Blank, she says that the poetry is used to slam on “the ignition of the play” and drive it forward. There is something Greek about Hip-hop theatre that intrigues me.
A little somethin I’m currently chewin on: Miss Nitty Scott’s Time is Running Out