The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has named Q-Tip the artistic director and advisor-at-large of its new Hip-Hop Culture Council. In a video introducing the council, the influential rapper and A Tribe Called Quest member talked about his goals as director.
“With hip-hop constantly changing and evolving, it is easy to forget the history and legacy that preceded it,” said the emcee, who has served as the Hip-Hop Culture Center’s artistic director since 2016. “I want to begin at the beginning of the culture and help people see its roots, better understand its present, and responsibly create its future.”
The Hip-Hop Culture Council also includes LL Cool J, the Kennedy Center’s first hip-hop honoree in 2017, along with the Roots drummer-producer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Roots emcee Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Common, Fab 5 Freddy, former NBA All-Star Grant Hill and MC Lyte, among others.
Q-Tip praised the council members in the clip, calling Black Thought “one of the preeminent emcees and artists of all time” and dubbing Questlove a “de-facto, go-to person for all things hip-hop.”
The council will host a variety of “performances, humanities events, film screenings, workshops and interactive experiences, in person and online,” per the Kennedy Center site. The 2017-2018 events season, which aims to “celebrate the early beginnings of the Culture,” will include a dance party DJ series, a film series, a live concert series and a theater residency program.