BAM Presents Word. Sound. Power. 2024: SOUND—Rhythm is Rhythm

Brooklyn Live LogoBROOKLYN — Prepare for an unparalleled fusion of beats, rhymes, and raw energy as BAM presents “Word. Sound. Power. 2024: SOUND—Rhythm is Rhythm,” featuring an impressive lineup of artists including Hetep BarBoy, Kumbaya, and JSWISS. With longtime director, co-curator, and host MC Baba Israel alongside DJ Reborn, this annual hip-hop and spoken word showcase promises an unforgettable experience at BAM Fisher on April 19th and 20th at 7:30 p.m.

Curated with an eye on the pulsating dialogue between beats and rhymes, this edition draws inspiration from the rich legacy of The Last Poets and the vibrant tradition of the hip-hop cypher. The Last Poets, often hailed as the forefathers of hip-hop, emerged in the late 1960s with powerful spoken-word performances that gave Black America its voice amidst social and political upheaval. Their influence continues to resonate in the rhythms and messages of contemporary artists.

“Hip-hop embodies an ongoing dialogue between the beat and the community. Sometimes it’s the rhyme that answers back, while other times, it’s the body that continues the discussion,” said Mikal Amin Lee, co-curator and BAM Education Manager. “This year, we aim to spotlight the dynamic conversation between beats and rhymes in the spirit of The Last Poets, the block, and the cypher. Whether expressed through the ones or the mic, the essence remains the same:  rhythm is rhythm.”

The lineup boasts an array of talent who will perform new and existing work from their solo catalogs. Hetep BarBoy, a prodigious nine-year-old emcee and a testament to the generational passage of hip-hop’s torch; Kumbaya, a lyricist who weaves tales of resilience and self-trust;  and JSWISS, an emcee whose work at the intersection of hip-hop, jazz, and soul exemplifies the genre’s boundless potential. These artists, along with student poets from Brooklyn public schools, will bring to life stories of agency, creativity, and cultural celebration.

“Word. Sound. Power.” is more than a performance; it’s a movement, echoing the beats and bars that have shaped and been shaped by communities for decades. The program promises a 70-minute showcase followed by a 20-minute Q&A with the artists, providing insight into their creative processes and the impact of hip-hop culture across generations. 

Join us at BAM Fisher for a journey through the rhythm of resistance and the melody of storytelling, where the legacy of The Last Poets meets the future of hip-hop. Tickets for “Word. Sound. Power. 2024: SOUND—Rhythm is Rhythm” start at $25. For more information, please visit

About the artists 

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