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

Just Posted

Epic Cleantec uses soil mixed with treated wastewater solids to plants at the company’s demonstration garden in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of Epic Cleantec)
This startup watches what SF flushes – and grows food with it

Epic Cleantec saves millions of gallons of water a year, and helps companies adhere to drought regulations

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for adolescents in the U.S. (Shutterstock)
Why California teens need mental illness education

SB 224 calls for in-school mental health instruction as depression and suicide rates rise

Ahmad Ibrahim Moss, a Lyft driver whose pandemic-related unemployment benefits have stopped, is driving again and relying on public assistance to help make ends meet. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
How much does gig work cost taxpayers?

Some drivers and labor experts say Prop. 22 pushed an undue burden on to everyday taxpayers.

Affordable housing has become the chief expense for most California students, such as those attending community college in San Francisco. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
California commits $500 million more to student housing

Called ‘a drop in the bucket,’ though $2 billion could be made available in future years

Most Read