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The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announces its Hip Hop Culture Council Founding Members Expand Hip Hop’s Presence At The Kennedy Center Members include Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Bobbito García a.k.a Kool Bob Love, Common, Fab 5 Freddy, Grandmaster Caz, Grant Hill, J. PERIOD, Jason King, Kierna Mayo, Large Professor, LL Cool J, MC Lyte, Mimi Valdés, Pharoahe Monch, Robert Glasper, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Xavier Jernigan, and 9th Wonder Upcoming events featuring council members include:

Wild Style 35th Anniversary Film Screening and Discussion + Party

Robert Glasper, Common, and Karriem Riggins present August Greene in a one-night-only performance in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall

ROCK RUBBER 45s D.C. Film Premiere + Party

Featuring DJs Rich Medina, Stretch Armstrong, DJ Spinna,

and Bobbito García spinning together for the first-time ever

(WASHINGTON)—The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts today announced the inception of its Hip Hop Culture Council. The Council will serve 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.

“The Kennedy Center’s Hip Hop Culture Council reflects the creative, social, and intellectual wealth of the Hip Hop community,” said Q-Tip, Artistic Director of Hip Hop Culture. “The members are the embodiment of what we stand for and all that we aspire to achieve with the Hip Hop Culture program.”

Serving as advisors and ambassadors, the founding council members form a dynamic community of prominent visionaries who will lend their talents and expertise in support of Hip Hop Culture at the Kennedy Center. Beginning this Spring, members of the Council will lend their voices and ideas to help create, experiment, develop, and produce work at the Center.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with such an extraordinary group of icons, innovators, and contributors to the Culture,” said Simone Eccleston, Director of Hip Hop Culture and Contemporary Music. “Q-Tip is deeply invested in creating a brain trust to advance and expand our work. As we continue to build the complex ecosystem that supports this program, the Council becomes an integral piece in sustaining Hip Hop’s presence at the Center.”


Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Drummer, Co-Founder – The Roots, DJ, Producer, Author, Lecturer

Bobbito García a.k.a Kool Bob Love, DJ, Filmmaker, TV/Radio Personality, Author, and Ballplayer

Common, Emcee, Actor, Poet & Film Producer

Fab 5 Freddy, Artist, Filmmaker, and Hip Hop Pioneer

Grandmaster Caz, Emcee, DJ, Historian, Hip Hop Culture Ambassador & Pioneer

Grant Hill, Owner/Vice-Chairman Atlanta Hawks, TNT/NBATV/CBS Broadcaster, and seven-time NBA All-Star

J. PERIOD, DJ, Producer & Musical Storyteller

Jason King, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of Global Studies, New York University's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music

Kierna Mayo, Writer, Brand Architect, Media Visionary & Senior Vice President of Content and Brands at iOne Digital

Large Professor, Emcee, Producer, DJ

LL Cool J, Emcee, Actor, Author, Entrepreneur, 2017 Kennedy Center Honoree

MC Lyte, Emcee, DJ, Actress, Entertainer, Speaker, and Philanthropist

Pharoahe Monch, Emcee, Recording Artist, Producer

Mimi Valdés, Producer and Chief Creative Officer at i am OTHER Entertainment

Robert Glasper, Pianist, Composer, and Producer

Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Emcee, Co-Founder – The Roots, Actor

Xavier Jernigan, Head of North America, Shows & Editorial Content and Host of Showstopper for Spotify

9th Wonder, Producer, DJ, College Lecturer, and Social Activist

Initial projects and programs featuring council members will include a celebration of Hip Hop’s first motion picture, Wild Style, directed by Charlie Ahearn with a 35th anniversary film screening and discussion featuring council members Fab 5 Freddy and Grandmaster Caz in the Terrace Theater, Friday, March 16. Founding council members and Grammy® award-winning pianist Robert Glasper and award-winning emcee Common, with group-mate

world-renowned drummer Karriem Riggins, come together in their first live public performance after the release of their self-titled debut album, August Greene, in the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall, Thursday, March 29.

Bobbito García aka Kool Bob Love will also present the D.C. premiere of ROCK RUBBER 45s—an autobiographical cinematic odyssey exploring the connectivity of global basketball, sneaker, and music lifestyle. The film, screened in the Terrace Theater on Friday, June 22, explores Garcia’s youth dealing with mistreatment, identity, and loss as well as his ascension to self-determination as an adult freelance creative.

“Being invited to be a founding member of the Hip Hop Culture Council bears a ton of responsibility” said Bobbito García a.k.a Kool Bob Love. “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.”

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