September 10th, 2007 5:33 pm | by Stephen Marc Beaudoin News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP

TBA Diary: Joseph's Moving Hip-Hop Travelogue

12 Marc Bamuthi Joseph8:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 8

Gerding Theater Armory

Marc Bamuthi Joseph's travelogue, The Living Word Project: the break/s, traces fantastic journeys through global hip-hop culture and eventually into Joseph's own conflicted hip-hop heart. "Authenticity is in the building - it's me!" he bellows while gliding from country to country and character to character with liquid physicality, impressive verbal dexterity and commanding voice.

From Senegal to Oakland, his stories articulate the searing pain and singular joy of moving between roots and rights, between the gutter and the stage (and for Joseph especially, between high art and hip-hop, the most damning distinction of all).

There are few performing artists more fully integrated, and beautifully so, than Joseph, and his pure shine on stage powers through even some of the unstable moments in this promising work-in-progress. As one of our most potent black cultural griots, Joseph himself may be, as he says in his show, "safe - above the menace," but his beautifully integrated art offers something dangerous indeed: the mirror held up to all men.

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