Nas, along with Somalia-born K’naan, are selected to represent their generation and art at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
The center is a memorial to President John F. Kennedy and highlights art forms such as opera, ballet and theater. On Tuesday, the center announced the 2013-2014 season would include “One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide,” which will be a weeklong festival.
The 2014 festival will feature Nas rapping alongside musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra as they perform his classic debut, Illmatic. Featuring a high profile rap artist such as Nas with a mix of DJing, graffiti and performing arts, it aims to do something unique this time around.
“Hip-hop is clearly something new and different for us,” Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser said. “I think to do something very current is important. We’re trying to speak to many different audiences.”
The season will include more than 2,000 performances in theater, music and dance. It also features the center’s first international festival devoted to theater from countries such as Chile, China, Israel, Kuwait, among other places.