Q-Tip Joins Kennedy Center as First Artistic Director of Hip-Hop Culture Series

The rapper will curate a variety of events including poetry slams, interactive shows about b-boy competitions, emceeing, spoken word and live performances.

Q- Tip

A Tribe Called Quest pioneer Q-Tip has joined the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., in partner with the Hi-Arts, as the first artistic director of hip-hop culture. Although very much absent from the public eye, the hip-hop vet has been producing music and hosting his own radio show, Abstract Radio.

In a statement Q-Tip said, “With hip-hop constantly changing and evolving, it is easy to forget the history and legacy that precede it. I want to begin at the beginning of the culture to help people see its roots, better understand its present, and responsibly create its future.”

The rapper will curate a variety of events including poetry slams, interactive shows about b-boy competitions, emceeing, spoken word and live performances. The series begins with Braves New Voice Youth Summit followed by All the Way Live!, an interactive program designed to encourage remixing including everything from folk tales to classical art.

The Kennedy Center’s inaugural Hip Hop series will begin this year and continue into 2017. The Words, Beats & Life Teach In program promotes and develops programs around social change based on hip hop culture. DJ Spooky’s Rebirth of a Nation recreated the 1915 film and analyzes, how “…exploitation and political corruption still haunt the world to this day, but in radically different forms.”

Spoken-word poet and playwright, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, will configure an energetic performance layering poetry, movement, music and visuals into theatrics based on Hip Hop aesthetics.

A full schedule for the 2016-2017 season of the Kennedy Center can be found below. Ticket information will be announced later.

July 12-16, 2016 — Brave New Voices Youth Summit — Family Theater, Concert Hall

October 12-16, 2016 — All the Way Live!— Family Theater

November 3-5, 2016 — Words, Beats & Life Teach-In — Terrace Gallery

November 5, 2016 — Top Notch — Grand Foyer

May 23, 2017 — DJ Spooky: Rebirth of a Nation — Eisenhower Theater

June 5-11, 2017– /peh-LO-tah/ — Family Theater


For more information on other events, check out the Kennedy Center Website.


Photo via Fanart.tv

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