“Caught on the 7”: kahlil almustafa

kahlil almustafa is performing poetry at the kickoff for Queens Art Express held at the Queens Botanical Gardens.

kahlil almustafa

kahlil almustafa

What is your subway stop?
82nd St. – Jackson Heights, 7

What is the best musician or artist you saw performing on a subway platform? The best subway performer is this girl who dresses up in eighties clothes and sings eighties music on the L platform. She definitely knows her train audience because her routine would never work on the A line.

Do you regularly see other artists performing in the area (if so what type)?
Yes, I see all types of artists performing – preachers, drummers and the kids selling candy. The best performer was this guy selling M&M’s and batteries two for a dollar. I think he was a comedian.

What type of work do you do?I am a performance poet and I facilitate poetry workshops in schools. Big shout out to the Virtual Poetry Slam students at IS 145.

What do you do for fun in Queens or the metropolitan area?
I love to play basketball, ride my bike and I happen to be pretty good at Guitar Hero too.

Do you have any questions for us at Queens Art Express?
Can we get all the street performers together for one big collaborative concert? I want to be the Hype-Man.

What was your first art/performance experience like? Where was it?
I was Mikey TV in my fourth grade presentation of Willy Wonka. I really nailed that part. I think I expressed some of the more complex layers of the character.

What are you working on now?
Recovering! I just wrote 100 Poems for the first 100 Days of Barack Obama’s presidency and boy are my metaphors tired.

What are you working on in the future?
I am going to paint my living room next. Is orange a good color?

kahlil almustafa is a native of Queens, New York. He is the 2002 Nuyorican Grand Slam Champion and author of Grandma’s Soup, I’m Crying Everyone’s Tears and Growing Up Hip-Hop. He recently released his debut CD, CounterIntelligence. almustafa is a grantee of the Future Aesthetics Artist Regrant (FAAR) Program selected by the Hip-Hop Theater Festival and a recipient of The Field’s Economic Revitalization for Performing Artists (ERPA) grant.
Check out his 100 Poems For 100 Days Project at www.kahlilalmustafa.mvmt.com

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