Q-Tip has a new gig and it’s pretty awesome. The rapper/producer is the first-ever artistic director for hip-hop culture at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in New York.
This fantastic news comes as the Kennedy Center announced over 2,000 performances slated for the 2016-2017 season. Last year, Kendrick Lamar performed with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center and it was an overwhelming success. So it was only right they would add hip-hop to the center’s main programming.
“With hip-hop constantly changing and evolving, it is easy to forget the history and legacy that precedes it,” said Q-Tip 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.”
Q-Tip, who is an active member of the Universal Zulu Nation, is the perfect choice for hip-hop director. The 45-year-old rhymer has been participating in hip-hop for over 25 years starting out as frontman and producer with A Tribe Called Quest and then as a solo artist in the late 1990s/2000s. He’s worked steadily as a producer, historian and a DJ who is spins regularly at clubs in New York and abroad.
In 2015, Q-Tip became a host of his own radio show on Apple Music’s Beats 1 station called Abstract Radio, which is named after his alter ego, the Abstract. The goal of the program is to bridge the musical gap between the young and old and present some good music.
Q-Tip is currently working on his fourth studio album, The Last Zulu, and has been assisting with production on Kanye West’s music projects via his G.O.O.D. Music label.
Congratulations to Q-Tip on his new gig and we can’t wait to see what you are going to present at the Kennedy Center.