The essence and spirit of Hip Hop music were alive on Monday, July 10th at the Millennium Stage located inside the historic Kennedy Center during a production of “Synching Ink.” As part of the annual Hip Hop Theater Festival, “Synching Ink” is a great love letter to Hip Hop and breath of fresh air for anyone tired of mumble rap. Written by Baltimore native & Howard University graduate NSangou Njikam.
“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 actual events, NSangou Njikam leads us on an emotional and lyrical ride to discover what it takes to freestyle.
The play is your classic coming of age/fish out of water story, set to a Hip-Hop Beat. In the lead role of Gordon, Njikam possesses a natural l leading man charisma that the audience can groove to. One of the strongest aspects of the play is the embodiment of Hip Hop throughout the play. From first loves to high school bullies and finding yourself it’s all there, and it all works. The production features homages and shout-outs to artists ranging from Eric B. & Rakim to Wu-Tang Clan. It’s very evident that Nijikam and director Nigel Smith, are equally gifted when it comes to performing a play and fans of hip-hop music.
In addition to Niijkiam, the cast of “Syncing Ink” also includes McKenzie Frye, Nuri Hazzard, Elisha Lawson, Adesola A. Osakalumi, Kara Young, and Robyn “DJ Reborn” Rodgers. Everyone in the cast has a chance to shine, with solid work from Elisha Lawson who provides great comic relief.
I’m hoping that Nijkamp continues to bring hip hop plays across the nation, as he is an emerging talent. I highly recommended that you check our “Synching Ink” if it’s in your town