Big Dada Kane: An Interview with Poet-Rapper Malik Ameer Crumpler
"In those days, I didn’t know about the spoken-word circuits for teenagers. We’d go to readings whenever the legendary poets and writers were in town like Quincy Troupe, Ishmael Reed, Nikki Giovanni, Amiri Baraka and Jessica Hagedorn. But we didn’t know about the diverse poetry/spoken word scenes in the Bay until we got to college. Once I got into SFSU (and some other friends got into Cal Berkeley, Stanford etc.) I started interning at the Poetry Center with my incredibly inspiring and brilliant writer, artists and activist friends Tamara, Eric Iheme, Omid, Ruth, Hyro, Chuck, Daniel, Marco, Natalie, Carlos, Horus, Chuck and Roopah, Kufikiri and Kele (to name a few). They introduced me to the spoken word communities of Oakland, San Francisco and Berkeley. My biggest inspirations then were Marcel Diallo’s Black Dot in East Oakland, Sonia’s Black Box in downtown Oakland, Alice Arts Center by the lake, Bush Mamma’s salons in Oakland, Tim’m’ T. West’s salons by the lake and Shakes & Mr. Pink’s LGBTQ Punk/ Anarchist readings in the Haight and Castro. Also, of course, all those readings in North Beach, The Mission, and those incredible readings at the African American Arts & Culture Complex in the Filmore."