3-minute interview with Marc Bamuthi Joseph

The list of accomplishments (National Poetry Slam champion, San Francisco Poetry Grand Slam winner, Broadway veteran) is nearly as long as the job descriptions (hip-hop artist and dancer, activist, teacher, poet) for the San Francisco-based artist. At the age of 10, he understudied Savion Glover for “The Tap Dance Kid.” The 31-year-old will end his world tour of “Scourge,” his solo work of spoken word and dance, Saturday at the ODC Theatre in the Mission district.

Are you sad to see “Scourge” come to a close? Yes and no. No, because I’ve made art that I love but yes because I’m eager to premiere my next piece [“The Breaks,” a personal account of his global travels influenced by S.F.-based writer Jeff Chang’s “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop,” a history of hip-hop].

What was it like as Glover’s understudy? He was the coolest kid in the world and he introduced KRS-ONE and Boogie Down Productions to me.

What is hip-hop outside the U.S.? There’s some mimicry to the MTV dance style but it’s also folkloric, political and much more grass roots. There are fewer resources for global artists and it’s more about expression.

Favorite experience in your travels? In Bosnia. I traveled there in 1999; Sarajevo was in shambles. It was the first time for me in a war zone. I was thrust there to teach spoken word at workshops to Bosnian youth, who had been experiencing similar tragedies. Using poetry, dance and music, the kids excavated their tragedies and found it very therapeutic.


Check out more 3-minute interviews from our San Francisco newsroom.

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Japanese American family at heart of beloved Golden Gate Park garden

The Japanese Tea Garden, the oldest public Japanese garden in North America,… Continue reading

Coronavirus cruise ship passengers head to California military base for quarantine

LOS ANGELES — American passengers evacuated from a cruise ship in which… Continue reading

Kicking off the budgeting process with the School Planning Summit

Last week I shared some information about SFUSD’s budget. I mentioned how… Continue reading

SF Lives: A ‘poverty scholar’ gives visibility to homeless people

Houseless, landless and unhoused are the preferred terms of Gray-Garcia and the people she’s aligned with in the POOR Media Network.

The racial contours of our housing crisis

Black residents of Midtown apartments deserve ownership

Most Read