Critic Pick : Syncing Ink

Critic Pick : Syncing Ink

By Shavonne Taisha

After three months at Houston's Alley Theater in Texas, "Syncing Ink" has finally premiered at Flea Theater in New York City.  Actor, Playwright NSangou Njikam critiques the lack of substance in "the new generation of hip-hop," while honoring the legends that made hip-hop the multi-billion dollar industry it is today. 

"Now what you hear is not a test/I'm rapping to the beat!" Gordon wants to learn how to rap, thinking it will gain him respect, admiration, and the attention of a beautiful woman. What he doesn't know is that his journey to learn how to rhyme will take him not just deeper into Hip Hop, but deeper into his legacy and his purpose. Based on true events, NSangou Njikam leads us on a lyrical ride to discover what it really takes to freestyle. Directed by Niegel Smith, Artistic Director of New York’s Flea Theater.

"Syncing Ink" is jammed pack with lyrics that will jogg your memory, while subsequentially asking for your shoulder and footwork. The play has defined the dimensions of hip-hop in a raw, unapologetically black narrative.

The cast is led by Gordon (Njikam) a meak, introverted, black suburban student. Gordon's love for hip-hop is supressed by his need to undercompensate. His insecurities are transparent when he is faced with competition from Jamal (Nuri Hazzard). Gordon's senior year of high school is complicated by his search for identity, and truth. 

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Gordon's A.P. English teacher Mr. Wright (Adesola A. Osakalumi) utilizes haikus to make literature and poetry relevant to their stories. Mr. Wright allows the students to use the haiku's to further develop their rap style. Gordon continuously struggles with finding his own voice, as he is constantly faced with rap cyphers. 

Syncing Ink is perfectly hilarious! It is a refreshing story of defeat and conquest! The performances were two syllables - PER-FECT! Each castmate lived up to their role, and left us belting with laughter the entire show.  DJ Reborn, provided the perfect soundtracks to compliment the endless rhyme schemes, flows, and high vibrations!  The live free styles makes "Syncing Ink" a true representation of the culture.

With a cast this talented, the show will surely be expanding nationally, and internationally. If you're not afraid to let your fro loose while adding to crowd participation, this is definitely a must-see! But hurry, the play is only running until October 29th.. For now!

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