Oakland-based performance artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph and I had the opportunity to sit down yesterday and talk about, well, a lot of things, but the conversation generally orbits the choices and challenges surrounding creating and performing the break/s: a mixtape for the stage, which comes to the MCA next month. The interview followed a mediated discussion between Joseph, his longtime friend/collaborator/hip-hop historian Jeff Chang and Stephanie Shonekan, Black World Studies Director at Columbia College Chicago.
It’s not brief, but I found everything Joseph said utterly fascinating. He’s uncommonly in touch with his work and relationship to it, inquisitive and analytical about performance as a vehicle for ideas, and speaks with calm precision and poetic elegance. I figured it’s better to post our entire conversation and leave the browsing to you. Enjoy. There is a bit of mild, totally-no-big-deal profanity, if you care. I don’t. Hip hop.
In the coming weeks I’ll preview the break/s for Flavorpill and follow up on some of Joseph’s dozens of other projects here. In the meantime, give him a Google or visit his MySpace page for more info.