Can Q-Tip bring hip-hop to the Kennedy Center? Yes, he can! The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has announced that the Tribe Called Quest MC-producer will be its first-ever Artistic Director for Hip-Hop Culture.
“With hip-hop constantly changing and evolving, it is easy to forget the history and legacy that precede it,” said Q-Tip in a statement. “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.”
To go along with this announcement, the center will launch its inaugural Hip-Hop Culture series in July.
“We are proud and excited to be incorporating hip-hop culture into our artistic and educational programs during the 2016–2017 season,” said Deborah F. Rutter, President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. “In our role as a national cultural institution, we feel it is vital to recognize all of the performing arts in our programming. The history of hip-hop and its development as an art form, and the complexity and importance of its impact on the arts landscape driving social and cultural awareness, has inspired us to have a more formal connection with our ongoing programming. By launching this series, we strive to spotlight these powerful traits through each program and to make them part of the Kennedy Center fabric as we look into the future.”
The Kennedy Center has been around since 1971. It is the “nation’s busiest performing arts center, hosting approximately 3,000 events each year for audiences numbering more than 2 million,” according to its website. Meanwhile, Q-Tip brings with him experience as a solo artist, a high-profile producer, and a member of the legendary Tribe Called Quest.