Posted By: James Maxwell
I will be the first to admit I do not have the most experience or credentials in regards to critiquing contemporary art. So when I received the opportunity to take part in the TBA Festival this year as part of the press core I not only wanted to use my journalistic background to review the exhibits and performances but also the people and their attitudes at the events. Which brings me to my first performance I viewed this year, the smooth talking, talented, creative god of hip hop soul that is Marc Bamuthi Joseph.
Never before have I personally witnessed a man that could make a group of awkward white folk bounce their heads in such unison to his unique words and beats. I could see that every one in the audience became completely entranced with the flavor The Living Word Project provided. Through out the entire sixty-minute one-man show Joseph moved and spoke so effortlessly while touching base on numerous relatable life lessons and journeys. From trying to defeat the dark “All Nigger Mentality,” learning to tap, the joy of fatherhood, and his funny and touching time in Africa the show brought it all. I was taken on a one of a kind journey with the performer’s beautiful words and movements.
The Living Word Project was so powerful everyone from retirees in Krocs and hipsters in too skinny jeans were screaming “word, word” for Joseph with as much soul we had in us. When I thought the show was coming to an end and could not have been better, Joseph, of course breaks out into a fresh story on the artist once again known as Prince. Completely nailing the beauty and mystery surrounding the legendary musician with his genius and original poetic piece, making us the audience members both laugh and squirm in our seats. So Bravo Marc Bamuti Joseph for such a beautifully orchestrated and original performance that gave us an inside to a piece of hip hop culture. You are truly one of a kind and please keep making us awkward white people bounce are heads!