The occasional mouthpiece for The Roots heads into his second theater piece Henry Box Brown: a Hip Hop Musical for Black History Month
Forever connected to The Roots, Karl Jenkins – aka Dice Raw – has struck out on his own in a big way within the last five years. Starting with his most politicized solo album yet, Jimmy’s Back, and his self-penned accompanying theater piece, The Last Jimmy (both dealing with Jim Crow laws, the unfairness of black-male incarceration and present-day forms of enslavement), Jenkins has further ensconced himself within the world of theater with Henry Box Brown: a Hip Hop Musical.
Running at Community College of Philadelphia’s Bonnell Auditorium, the musical he stars in and has co-written is about the legendary Virginia-based slave who — upon losing his wife — mailed himself in a 3′ x 2’8″ x 2′ box to Philadelphia and subsequent freedom. From there, “Box” Brown became prominent for his writing and his on-stage antics as a hypnotist, magician and singer. Continue reading →