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The Kennedy Center

Hip Hop

Featured this season 2

Upcoming Events


D-Nice Dance Party

Fri, Feb 22, 2019, 9:00 PM

Join the Kennedy Center for this free Hip Hop Dance Party spun by world-renowned DJ, D-Nice. From Oscar night galas to the Super Bowl, or from Essence Fest to the legendary private parties thrown by Diddy, D-Nice can now be heard in places like Cannes, Singapore, South Africa, and Miami.


Revive Music Presents: Freelance

Sat, Feb 23

Harlem based collective Freelance is a band of independent leaders with an expansive sound and encyclopedic knowledge of musical genres that afford them the ability to cross-pollinate styles and manipulate melody to create an aesthetic signature uniquely their own. Influenced by the creative footprints of Mint Condition, Earth Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder, Radiohead, and Robert Glasper, founding leaders, Tim “Smithsoneon” Smith (vocals) and Chad “Ausar the Ambassador” Selph (keyboards) penned the forthcoming full-length debut album Yes Today, thirteen-tracks distilled from Freelance’s dynamic live performances is a lush, groove-dominant clinic in the power of seizing the moment. To avoid putting life off until tomorrow, and instead, say yes today.

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BGR! FEST™: Free Welcome Party featuring DJs Beverly Bond and MC Lyte

Fri, Mar 8, 2019, 7:00 PM

Free! Join us as we kick off BGR! FEST with a dance party spun by the Black Girls Rock! Founder and celebrity DJ Beverly Bond and DJ MC Lyte. #BGRFest #BlackGirlMagic 


BLACK GIRLS ROCK!: Owning Our Magic. Rocking Our Truth.
Book Talk with Beverly Bond, Jazmine Sullivan, and special guests

Sat, Mar 9, 2019, 7:30 PM

Book included with your ticket! From award-winning entrepreneur, culture leader, and creator of the BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™ movement, Beverly Bond, comes Black Girls Rock!: Owning Our Magic. Rocking Our Truth., an inspiring book that pays tribute to the achievements of black women around the world. Join Beverly Bond, Jazmine Sullivan, and special guests for an intimate conversation focused on the power of owning our magic and rocking our truth. #BGRFest #BlackGirlMagic

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BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™ presents ROCK LIKE A GIRL!™ Featuring Jazmine Sullivan, Mumu Fresh, and more

Sun, Mar 10, 2019, 8:00 PM

BLACK GIRLS ROCK! and The Kennedy Center present ROCK LIKE A GIRL™, a concert celebration of black women’s contributions to the arts with special performances by twelve-time Grammy®-nominee Jazmine Sullivan and Mumu Fresh. #BGRFest #BlackGirlMagic 

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Dior Ashley Brown EMCEE

Sat, Mar 23

Dior Ashley Brown is a “Hip Hop Polymath,” as quoted by the Washington Post. An emcee, actor, poet, host, songwriter, playwright, activist, creative community curator, and Founder of the DC Music Summit. Miss dAb is a proud Washington, D.C. Native, Army Brat and graduate of both Duke Ellington School of the Performing Arts and University of Maryland, College Park, Theatre Arts Programs. Dior’s style of Hip Hop has been compared to greats such as Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Lauryn Hill, and James Brown. 

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Moon Medicin (part of DIRECT CURRENT)

Thu, Apr 4, 2019, 9:00 PM

This multimedia concept band, fronted by Harlem-based interdisciplinary artist Sanford Biggers, performs original compositions and re-imagined covers against a backdrop of sound effects and images of sci-fi, punk, sacred geometry, coded symbology, film noir, minstrels, world politics, and ceremonial dance. 

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Queen Latifah (part of The Bridge Concert Series)

Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 8:00 PM

The Grammy®- and Golden Globe®–winning artist is one of Hip Hop’s pioneer feminists. Queen Latifah became the first Hip Hop artist to be crowned with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and she makes her Kennedy Center performance debut in this program.

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Javier Starks

Sat, Apr 27

Emcee, songwriter, and poet Javier Starks fuses clean lyrics with vocal melodies to create his unique flow. He has introduced his fan-base and new audiences to the possibilities and creativity of ‘clean’ Hip Hop, with his live performances filling rooms across North America and on international stages.

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Amanda Seales presents Mo' Betta Wu: Jazz from the 36 Chambers

Thu, Jun 6, 2019, 8:00 PM

Mo’ Betta Wu blends songs by the Wu-Tang Clan with theatrics, jazz elements, humor, and now legendary Wu-isms into an unforgettable presentation.

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Smart Funny & Black: Hip Hop Culture Edition

Fri, Jun 7, 2019, 8:00 PM

Created by comedian/actress/producer Amanda Seales (HBO Insecure), Smart Funny & Black brings your favorite funny folks to the “Hall of Flava” to compete in a head to head battle of wits that tests their knowledge of black history, black culture, and the black experience. 

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Amanda Seales Presents: An Evening with Amanda Seales

Sat, Jun 8, 2019, 8:00 PM

Comedian, actress, writer, producer, and more, Amanda Seales doesn’t just make you laugh, she makes change in this evening of stand-up!

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HERstory: Love Forever

Jun 14 - Jun 15, 2019

Drawing inspiration from Common’s 1994 classic “I Used to Love H.E.R.,” playwright, performer, poet, and teacher Goldie Patrick will examine the roles of several women and their changing relationship with Hip Hop in this immersive full-length play. 

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