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Last year the Kennedy Center hosted Kendrick Lamar’s sold-out show with the National Symphony Orchestra, and now it’s planning a whole series dedicated to hip-hop culture, with a hip-hop great at the helm.

The Kennedy Center announced that Q-Tip, founding member of A Tribe Called Quest, will be its first artistic director of hip-hop for its new Hip-Hop Culture program. 


“With hip-hop constantly changing and evolving, it is easy to forget the history and legacy that precede it,” Q-Tip said in a statement. “I want to begin at the beginning of the culture to help people see its roots, better understand its present, and responsibly create its future.”

Through a partnership with Hi-Arts, the center will have six events celebrating different aspects of hip-hop culture. The events will include a poetry slam, a teach-in and a dance competition.

“This new programmatic platform recognizes hip-hop’s contributions to global culture and its role in promoting values such as courage, freedom, justice and service,” the center announced in a release. “Hip-hop culture authentically promotes these values through five core elements—deejaying, emceeing, break dancing, graffiti writing, and knowledge of self—carrying with them the power to build and transform communities through art and action. With this new offering, the center also aims to increase opportunities for community involvement and participation within its programs."

The Hip-Hop Culture season kicks off in July and will run through June 2017. You can find a listing of the programming here.

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