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The Kennedy Center

Hip Hop

Featured this season 2

Upcoming Events


MC Lyte: Lyte as a Rock 30th Anniversary Concert (part of The Bridge Concert Series)

Fri, Sep 21, 2018, 8:00 PM

Grammy-nominated emcee MC Lyte takes it back to the beginning with a 30th anniversary celebration of her debut album Lyte as a Rock.

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Roxanne Roxanne

Tue, Oct 9, 2018, 7:30 PM

From the producers of Fruitvale Station and Dope comes this Netflix film that chronicles the journey of Lolita “Roxanne Shanté” Gooden from a fierce teenage battle emcee to Hip Hop legend. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Kennedy Center Hip Hop Culture Council member and film producer Mimi Valdés, Roxanne Shanté, and more.

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Maimouna Youssef (part of The Bridge Concert Series)

Sat, Oct 13, 2018, 7:30 PM

Baltimore born and D.C. raised, Maimouna Youssef is a global citizen, a musical healer, a cultural philanthropist, and a community pillar. Her latest project is already making its mark on the international music scene with her single “Shine Your Light"; she returns to the Kennedy Center for a one-night-only concert. 

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Dance Party: Soul in the Horn with Natasha Diggs and DProsper

Sat, Oct 13, 2018, 9:00 PM

This NYC-based dance party, social gathering, and music showcase aims to bridge the gap between all music and culture, with events featuring horn-infused sounds from around the globe and sets played by world-renowned DJs and today's most innovative musicians.

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Lyrics from Lockdown

Oct 18 - Oct 20, 2018

A critically acclaimed exposé of the ways race, class, power, and privilege shape prisons and policing in America, Lyrics from Lockdown is a story of survival that reveals how the justice system can radically change a young person’s life. In this one-man multimedia production, prison activist, actor, author, and Hip Hop theater innovator Bryonn Bain tells his own unbelievable true story by weaving together the voices of more than 40 characters. Each show is followed by a town hall dialogue.

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Hip Hop Listening Session: #LifeIn5 Edition

Wed, Oct 24, 2018, 7:30 PM

Drawing from the “Top 5” concept, participants create a collaboratively generated musical experience exploring the top five songs that tell their Hip Hop stories, facilitated by special guests and with a live soundtrack spun by one of today’s most exciting DJs.

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Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop: Book Talk, Panel Discussion, and Signing

Fri, Nov 16, 2018, 7:30 PM

Journalist, author, and producer Vikki Tobak and special guests participate in a panel discussion celebrating Tobak’s new book, which takes readers on a chronological journey from old-school to alternative Hip Hop and from analog to digital photography.

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SHAOLIN JAZZ: Can I Kick It? - The Warriors

Sat, Dec 8, 2018, 7:30 PM

This innovative film experience pushes the envelope of sound syncing, where classic martial arts films are remixed live by 2-Tone Jones, accentuating specific scenes with well-timed DJ techniques. For this special presentation of Can I Kick It?, SHAOLIN JAZZ focuses on the 1979 cult classic The Warriors, an influential film in Hip Hop culture. 

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Oddisee & Good Compny, Phonte, and Olivier St. Louis (part of The Bridge Concert Series)

Thu, Dec 13, 2018, 8:00 PM

A respected underground MC both locally and abroad, Oddisee returns to his hometown for a specially curated evening with individual sets by his group Oddisee & Good Compny, North Carolina emcee Phonte, and Berlin-based singer/songwriter Olivier St. Louis.

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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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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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