All Paige In Full Photos: C. Stanley Photography
Trivia Question: Who first rapped these lines…
“Thinkin’ of a master plan,
Cuz ain’t nothin’ but sweat inside my hand”?
A. Lil’ Wayne
B. Lil’ Jon
C. Eric B & Rakim
Hint: It is not anyone with any “Lil”/Little in his name.
While many kids believe it is the infamous Sizzurp addict Weezy (see: 2008′s Girls All Around the World with Lloyd), the correct answer is ERIC B. & RAKIM and their old school jam “Paid in Full.”
And the other night, B-girl, actress, choreographer, and educator (what does this woman not do?!) Paige Hernandez paid tribute to the dope duo with her one-woman show “Paige In Full.” This is a journey into Paige.
Theater is such an underrated aspect of hip hop, but when put together, the combination brings a whole new flavor to the stage. Paige successfully blended the two arts. She introduced each part of her life (love, music, growing up, etc.) by associating it with a specific aspect of hip hop: chopped and screwed music, scratching, etc.
The show shared Paige’s experience with growing up, loving, dancing, and living. She talked about growing up as an outsider – a black, cuban, chinese female hip hop lover in club-crazed Baltimore. She gushed about her first crush and her failed attempts at winning him over. She reflected going to school at the Baltimore School for the Performing Arts, and the bond she shared with BSA alumni Tupac and Jada Pinkett Smith. She also opened up about her first true love, and the abusive relationship she allowed herself to stay in, as well as the heartbreaking death of her grandmother.
What made the show awesome was Paige’s energy and dedication. She really got into her different characters, making us laugh at her impersonations of her third grade haters, and shutting us up with her imitation of the boyfriend that used to beat her. At one point the drastic change in emotion caught me off guard. It was unsettling to see her character go from giggly girl to weeping woman, but Paige did it with grace. The show was punctuated by silly jokes, good music (the Pharcyde and Camp Lo!), and dope dancing to go along. She’s a goofy girl, and it was fun to see her dance and rap, keeping us involved and entertained.