Q-Tip Becomes Hip-Hop Director for the Kennedy Center
Today (March 8), the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced that Q-Tip will become its artistic director for hip-hop culture. The announcement included the news that hip-hop will join the institution's core programming.
Q-Tip has carved out a legendary career in hip-hop as both a rapper and producer. The New York native is best known as a member of the group A Tribe Called Quest, one of the most respected acts in hip-hop history. The group, which consists of Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White, is widely credited with creating multiple classic albums during their run in the 90s. These include the certified platinum albums The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders.
During Tuesday's announcement, Kennedy Center president Deborah Rutter spoke about the importance of Q-Tip joining their ranks.
"I really believe that he has an important voice for all of us, for those art forms that don't have the central stage," Rutter said.
While Q-Tip was not on hand for the announcement, he did deliver some pre-recorded comments. The rapper/producer hopes to explore issues like racism, misogyny and poverty with his new platform.
"We see hip-hop in our films, we see it in our commercials, we hear it everywhere. We cannot escape that beat," Q-Tip said. "That beat, that pulse is what we're going to connect to at the Kennedy Center."
Q-Tip's introduction was just one part of the Kennedy Center's announcement. The institution laid out their plans for 2016-2017 season, which will include more than 2,000 performances. Celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma and soprano Renee Fleming were also announced as at-large artistic directors for the center.
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