The Washington Post has reported that, for the first time in the institution’s history, the Kennedy Center’s history will focus on hip-hop music for its 2016 to 2017 season and has appointed the rapper and producer Q-Tip to curate.
Although the center has presented hip-hop events for the past 15 years, the upcoming season—which also marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of John F. Kennedy—will be the first time the institution will present a cohesive program with a curator at the helm. It is also the first season of programming by Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter. Hip-hop-related events will include the world premiere of the B-Fly commission “All the Way Live!” as well as the Brave New Voices Youth Summit.
Q-Tip was not present at the season’s announcement, but did have the following to say in a video message: “It couldn’t come at a better time. As a nation, we’re dealing with issues of race, issues of racism, issues of misogyny.” Below, enjoy the video for “Scenario,” the classic posse from Q-Tip’s group A Tribe Called Quest, which aesthetically looks like something that could be featured on Rhizome and includes a breakout performance from a young Busta Rhymes.