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Angry Young Man

Dan Wolf discusses his adaptation of Adam Mansbach's satirical Hip Hop novel, Angry Black White Boy, at Intersection for the Arts.

By San Francisco
Dan Wolf and Tommy Shepherd
in Angry Black White Boy
(© Jeff Fohl)
Dan Wolf and Tommy Shepherd
in Angry Black White Boy
(© Jeff Fohl)
"In a hundred years, we'll be in a lot of trouble if people think that Eminem was the king of Hip Hop," says Dan Wolf, who not only adapted Adam Mansbach's satirical novel Angry Black White Boy for the stage, but also stars in the production at San Francisco's Intersection for the Arts. Both novel and play revolve around Macon, a young white man who sets out to rob his white taxi passengers in an effort to somehow balance the scales for the injustices African-Americans have suffered over the centuries.

Like the character he portrays, Wolf is a white Jewish man who is actively involved in the Hip Hop scene. "I think there's a responsibility to be educated about the history of Hip Hop, to know where it came from and that battle that everyone is fighting," he states. "It's a freedom art form, about the voiceless finding a voice."

The writer/performer belongs to the band Felonious, and two of his bandmates -- Tommy Shepard and Keith Pinto -- are his major collaborators for the production. "There's something about the writing in the book that I saw dramatically in my head and I was just turned on from there to figure out a way for it to happen," says Wolf. "What we're doing is using the words of the book like a producer would use a sample, infusing it with the movements, soundscapes, rhythms, beats, and energy of a Hip Hop song."

Wolf says that Macon "puts himself square in the middle of a culture that he has no right to be in the middle of, and actually emerges -- battle-worn -- on the other side. I hope this show will really start to ask the hard questions of how we look at what Hip Hop culture is, the commodification of it, and who's gaining and losing by it being bought and sold in the way that it is."


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