Misbehavin’ at the Mercury Theatre!

Misbehaving’ was a week-long summer school, inspired by the musical Ain’t Misbehavin’, for young people aged 11-16,  to work across the five disciplines associated with Hip Hop with professionals such as graffiti artist Brave One, rapper Kenny Baraka and beatboxer Randolf Matthews to learn new skills and develop their talent.

Enthusiasm, curiosity and desire to create something new was awe-inspiring and infectious in the five areas of Hip-Hop: Mc-ing, Beatboxing, Street Art, Break Dancing & Music Making. The course took place at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester and was recently featured in the Colchester Gazette.

Kenny Baraka  wrote a poem reviewing the Mishbehavin’ project


-from it’s start
in a park
in the heart
of the South Bronx
to a black box in a theatre in the centre of Colchester
summer school the local youngers on all that’s hip hop culture
Bam [Bam] Boogies,
& then me
tryinna to each one, teach one
out a group of 15 younger artists what it mean to be a part of the music
[and] what it take to make the tunes, dance and art that go with it
and their dreams of being famous that go with it come true
in just 5 days and hours each ambition aint easy
cramming 40 years of history, music, murals and poetry, movement plus an arts award into less than a week
divided, conquer, found it’s better, split the larger group in two,
smaller groups who work better when there’s more for each to do
then reconvene afternoon sharing by the chosen are few
grew bolder with every session
and their confidence started spreading
until the few grew in numbers and all of them volunteer
is when we knew they ready for Misbehavin’s premier
stage set, lights dim, box beatin’ in the background
curtains closed
show opens with them rappin’ and breakin’, graffin’ and looping a sample on a drum machine
their families’ most of the audience nod and tapping their feet
slow clap, standing ovation at the end of the beat
for the hip hop show
them how they could be…

penned by KennyBaraka.com