Lineup for One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide at Kennedy Center Announced
From March 27 to April 13, 2014, the Kennedy Center, in collaboration with Hi-ARTS, producers of the Hip-Hop Theater Festival, presents One Mic: Hip- Hop Culture Worldwide, a festival celebrating this American art form and highlighting the original four elements of hip-hop culture: MCing, DJing, b-boying, and graffiti writing. Through ticketed and free performances and exhibitions this festival shines a spotlight on International Artists who use hip-hop to transform their communities, as well as local artists and activists from D.C.'s hip-hop community, and celebrates a master of the craft who continues to influence audiences and artists of the global hip-hop culture.
Hip-hop has spread from its multi-ethnic origins in the urban youth culture on the streets of 1970s New York City to an art form that has put down roots in communities across the globe. One Mic brings together artists from around the world and across disciplines to highlight the evolution of hip-hop, which has united people the world over and helped shape the discourse of popular culture.
The festival will open with the NSO Pops performing Illmatic with American rapper Nas, featuring music from his acclaimed 1994 debut album. The festival also provides a national stage
for the emerging art of hip-hop theater with performances of Marc Bamuthi Joseph's red, black & GREEN: a blues (rbGb) and readings of new hip-hop theater works by selected participants of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) playwriting competition. Breaking Form: global urban contemporary dance highlights an impressive lineup of hip-hop dance artists from across the globe, and the KC Jazz Club hosts the Revive Big Band in a performance blending hip-hop, R&B, and sampled jazz recordings. Hip-hop theater performers will fuse spoken word with funky beats and dances for Fresh Noise: A Mashup of Youth Voices, a production for young audiences directed by Monica Williams. Graffiti exhibitions will be created and displayed in two separate off-site locations throughout the duration of the festival.
Daily free shows are curated by the Kennedy Center, Nomadic Wax, and the One Mic Creative Ecosystem. These performances will include multiple musical performances and music videos by international hip-hop artists and a b-boy battle with cash prizes. Nomadic Wax is a national urban music company that produces music and educational events aimed at creating cross-cultural exchange and increasing awareness of global issues. The One Mic Creative Ecosystem is a group of active members of the D.C. creative community working together to ensure that local hip-hop culture is faithfully reflected in the global One Mic festival. It is a forum for local artists, leaders of arts organizations, social activists, youth, and community leaders to come together and align festival programming with the work of those local artists who are already serving their communities through hip-hop culture. The Creative Ecosystem includes representatives from local organizations such as Words Beats & Life, Lil Soso Productions, Buoyant Sound, FRESHH, Hedrush, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, Split This Rock, and Busboys and Poets, among others.