2 Minutes With … Bonsu Thompson, Writer, Director, Producer and Cultural Critic
Bonsu is a writer, director, producer and cultural critic. As a filmmaker, he has penned features and shorts across the narrative and documentary spectrum. Such efforts include Story Ave (2023) and Can't Stop Won't Stop: A Bad Boy Story (2017). For television, Bonsu wrote and directed the 2023 series Iconic Records: Life After Death, which documents the last 18 months of Notorious B.I.G.
He has also served as editor-in-chief of The Source, senior writer at SLAM and music editor for XXL. Bonsu co-hosts the podcast HARD 2 EARN, which reviews current albums and classic works.
His brand portfolio includes Nike, Hennessy, Apple, Warner Music and Beats By Dre.
We spent two minutes with Bonsu to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations and recent work he's admired.
Bonsu, tell us …
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
Born and raised in Brooklyn. Still here.
Your earliest musical memory.
Your favorite bands/musicians today.
One of your favorite projects you've ever worked on.
I wrote and directed an eight-episode visual podcast for WMG and the Notorious B.I.G. estate on the last 18 months of Biggie's life: Iconic Records: Life After Death. It was a dream project that I never dreamt. B.I.G. is not only my all-time favorite rapper, but one of the most visual writers.
A recent project you're proud of.
My first feature film as a screenwriter, Story Ave, hit NYC theaters on Sept. 29, and select theaters nationwide on Oct. 6. The New York Times listed it as one of the most anticipated films of this fall.
One thing about how the music world is evolving that you're excited about.
Someone else's work, in music or beyond, that you admired lately.
An artist you admire outside the world of music.
My friends possess some of the most creative minds in the world. From Michael and Nicole Nichols of @auntsetuncles to @mobrowne's pen to @pelnyc's illustrations to @brooklynsmoon's hART pieces. Osmosis has much to do with my creative growth.
A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.
Someone worth following in social media.
Your main strength as a marketer/creative.
Authentic language. I know the feeling a statement is supposed to deliver when it lands. It's about crafting language that evokes customized emotion. That can only be done organically.
Your biggest weakness.
Something people would find surprising about you.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in the music business.
Pretty much what I'm doing now: writing for film, television and culture.