The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Announces its Hip Hop Culture Council

Founding Members include Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Bobbito Garcia 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 Valdes, Pharoahe Monch, Robert Glasper, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Xavier Jernigan, and 9th Wonder

(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 Garcia 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 Vald├ęs, 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