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The Kennedy Center

Hip Hop

Featured this season 2

Upcoming Events


Meshell Ndegeocello: No More Water | The Fire Next Time: The Gospel According to James Baldwin

Sun, Dec 16, 2018, 8:00 PM

No More Water | The Fire Next Time: The Gospel According to James Baldwin, the next evolution of Meshell Ndegeocello’s 2016 WaterWorks world premiere Can I Get A Witness: The Gospel of James Baldwin, pays homage to James Baldwin by creating a shared space for reflection, conversation and social change.

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New Year's Eve at the Kennedy Center: Raheem DeVaughn and Backyard Band

Mon, Dec 31, 2018, 8:30 PM

Ring in the New Year right with D.C. soul singer Raheem DeVaughn, the "Love King of R&B." Join him and legendary go-go group Backyard Band for an electrifying performance pulsing with neo-soul, R&B, and Hip Hop—the perfect way to start 2019!

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Kokayi

Sat, Jan 26

D.C.'s own Grammy®–nominated rapper, producer, and educator Kokayi returns for an innovative and intimate club performance. Always coloring outside the lines of tradition, Kokayi blends Hip Hop, folk, funk, jazz fusion—even sounds from the streets of D.C.—to create some of today’s most versatile and ground-breaking music. He can be heard recently on Whose Hat is This? most recent album Everything’s Ok, Goldlink’s “At What Cost,” MTV's "Rebel Music" series, Kevin Hart's Laugh At My Pain, and more.

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PJ Morton

Thu, Feb 14, 2019, 8:00 PM

Grammy Award®– and Dove Award–winning singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist PJ Morton brings his distinctive brand of love and soul to the Kennedy Center for a one-night-only Valentine’s Day performance. Known for his work as the keyboardist for Maroon 5 and musical director for Solange’s opus A Seat at the Table, Morton and his live band including a full orchestra perform hits from his critically acclaimed album Gumbo and as well as his soul-stirring discography.

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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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Dior Ashley Brown

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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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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