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It’s been over a decade since the documentary film, SlamNation expanded the Slam Poetry movement. Growing up during the same expansive period was an Asian American, born in Oklahoma and schooled in New York City. In the late 90s, Beau Sia was a Black Cat brick of firecrackers with a mic in his hand. His energy sucked up everyone’s oxygen and his words and cadence both expanded minds and dropped jaws. The sheer power he projects in the many Def Poetry Jam videos on Youtube is monumental.
A few years later, Sia’s Rosie O’Donnell video in response to her “Ching Chong” comment went large and she apologized. It was a big deal. He appears occasionally in films like Jonathan Demme’s Rachel Getting Married. He does performances based on special events of occurrences like the Alexandra Wallace video, Asian in the Library, or a special for Fred Korematsu day. His explosiveness now appear in new ways, it’s via intellect, dialogue and understanding. As he says in his sincere and sometimes comical voice, “I’m still dangerous.”
Currently, he’s working on various projects from music to writing and spends plenty of time thinking.
In our talk, Beau Sia explains his past work and where it comes from, hip hop, current projects, insecurities, and his future. His words are thoughtful and his explanations are detailed.
music on podcast by Goh Nakamura