I was thrilled when my solo play Kenya made it into the 3rd Annual Hip Hop Theater Festival. Previously, Kenya had a short run at Dixon Place in NYC. But after reworking parts of the play, I couldn’t wait to share it in the home of a burgeoning arts movement- one that challenged the conventions of theater and celebrated the voice of the Hip Hop generation.
Kenya, told the story of a tortured b-ball phenomenon- the only girl on all-boys basketball team. As Kenya spit rhymes and tagged grafs, she would contemplate love, loss, femininity (or lack thereof) and the misogyny she suffered from her teamamtes- all in one hour-long locker-room rant to her dead mother.
Like Kenya, I had my own struggles, trying ‘to get in where I fit in’. As a young actor, snagging roles came down to my sexual appeal or how well I could interpret ‘BLACKNESS’.
As an emcee, it felt like my rhymes had to accommodate male contemplation and commercial aesthetics. My exploration of both industries left little room for my growing voice as an artist.