Q-Tip has been named Artistic Director of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Hip-Hop Culture Council.
The Council is part of a new initiative to “help the Kennedy Center create new pathways and deepen public knowledge of hip-hop, contribute to broader Center-wide initiatives, and strengthen the burgeoning Hip-Hop Culture program at the Kennedy Center,” as Medium reports.
Founding members include genre and hip-hop culture greats, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Common, 9th Wonder, Fab 5 Freddy, Mimi Valdés, Grandmaster Caz, and LL Cool J. In an introductory video for the program, Q-Tip says “[t]he members are the embodiment of what we stand for and all that we aspire to achieve with the Hip-Hop Culture program,” which is set to kick things off this month.
“Being invited to be a founding member bears a ton of responsibility,” notes Bobbitto García. “We will ensure that there is no compromise to the art form and that it is presented in all its wonder and beauty for all to enjoy.”
Among the first projects and events for the program will be a 35th anniversary screening of the hip-hop film Wild Style, directed by Charlie Ahearn, on March 16. The screening will be followed by a discussion featuring Council members Grandmaster Caz and Fab 5 Freddy. Then, on Thursday, March 29, drummer Karriem Riggins will join council founding members Common and Robert Glasper to deliver their first live public performance of the newly formed group’s self-titled debut album, August Greene.