Mixtapes began as quasi-albums rappers used to exhibit their skill outside the mainstream music industry. Marc Bamuthi Joseph will bring that raw spirit of mixtapes to the theater tonight with his performance of “the break/s: a mixtape for stage” in Memorial Hall.
Joseph’s show also features a DJ and a beat-boxer. It is part of The Loading Dock, a series of shows that place both performers and audiences on the same stage.
Tonight’s show is an autobiographical look into the performer’s life as he ages alongside the development of hip-hop.
ATTEND THE SHOW
Time: 8 p.m. tonight
Location: Memorial Hall
“He was born in New York in 1975, so basically he is as old as hip-hop. He uses hip-hop as a lens into his own life,” said Harry Kaplowitz, marketing manager for Carolina Performing Arts.
Joseph uses hip-hop to mirror his life as he struggles to balance his status as a public figure and his private life as a middle-aged man.
Joseph uses a bevy of inspirations and methods to create his performances.
“As an artist he combines the worlds of dance and movement, hip-hop, DJing, storytelling and theater into a single performance and integrates it in a way that is extremely unique,” Kaplowitz said.
Reed Colver, CPA’s director of campus and community engagement, caught one of Joseph’s performances in New York City.
She said she found the performance engaging, and when she returned from her vacation, Reed worked to bring Joseph to UNC.
In addition to his performance in Memorial Hall, Joseph has been touring the campus.
“He is an artist that is as much an educator as he is an artist,” Colver said. “He brings more than just a performance, he brings a process.”
Thursday morning he spoke to two different classes and gave a preview of his performance. He also taught them a small segment of choreography and gave them a lesson in the history of poetry and hip-hop, Colver said.
Beyond education about performance arts, Joseph is using his status as a performer to help the black community go green, Kaplowitz said.
While hip-hop is central to the performance, there are other entertaining elements to the show.
“If you are interested in movement and dance, and poetry in particular, then he combines all of those elements, and that is the performance,” Colver said.
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