Hip Hop on the Nation's Stage: Celebrating Women in the Culture

The Hip Hop Culture Program is committed to ensuring that women's roles and contributions to Hip Hop remain a central part of our work.

Pioneering Emcees Vol. 1 (2017-11-20) by Jati LindsayThe John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Pioneering Emcees Vol. 1 (2017)

Pioneering MC’s MC Sha-Rock, Roxanne Shanté, and Queen Lisa Lee performed at the Center as part of Pioneering Emcees Vol. 1 

MC Lyte (2018)

In September 2018, Grammy®-nominated hip hop icon and Kennedy Center Hip Hop Culture Council member MC Lyte celebrated the 30th Anniversary of her debut album Lyte as a Rock.

Roxanne Roxanne Film Screening (2018-10-09) by Jati LindsayThe John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Roxanne Shanté (2018)

In October 2018, hip hop legend Roxanne Shanté returned to the Center with Kennedy Center Hip Hop Culture Council member, film/TV producer and Chief Creative Officer at i am OTHER Mimi Valdés and actress Chanté Adams for a screening of Roxanne Roxanne.

Maimouna Youssef (2018)

Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, and MC Maimouna Youssef aka Mumu Fresh performs "I Got a Feeling."

Joan Morgan (2018-11-15) by The Kennedy CenterThe John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Joan Morgan (2018)

In November 2018, award-winning feminist author and journalist Joan Morgan presented a book talk and signing for She Begat This: 20 Years of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill with Council members Kierna Mayo and Beverly Bond, hosted by Demetria Lucas

Vikki Tobak (2018-11-16) by Jati LindsayThe John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Vikki Tobak (2018)

Author Vikki Tobak presented an all-star panel of legendary Hip Hop artists and photographers in celebration of her book Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop 

In April 2019, Grammy Award winning rapper Queen Latifah performed as part of the Hip Hop Culture Program’s Bridge Concert Series. 

Ms. Lauryn Hill poster (2020-03-05) by The Kennedy CenterThe John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

BGR!FEST™ (2020)

In 2020, Ms. Lauryn Hill returned to the Kennedy Center to headline BGR!FEST 2020. Founded by Council Member, Celebrity DJ, CEO, and founder of BLACK GIRLS ROCK!  Beverly Bond, BGR!FEST is an annual festival celebrating women’s contributions to culture.

GRAMMY®-nominated and BET Hip Hop Award winning rapper Rapsody performs “Aaliyah” as part of BGR!FEST 2020.

Issa Rae (2022-03-26) by Jati LindsayThe John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Issa Rae (2022)

In March 2022, media mogul Issa Rae hosted a special preview of her new series Rap Sh!t during Short Film Saturday as part of her visionary production company, HOORAE’s multi-day takeover of the Kennedy Center. 

"I AM WOMAN: A Celebration of Women in Hip-Hop" (2022-04-15) by Jati LindsayThe John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

I Am Woman: A Celebration of Women in Hip Hop (2022)

In April 2022, Hip Hop Icon and Kennedy Center Hip Hop Culture Council Member MC Lyte partnered with the Kennedy Center to present I Am Woman: A Celebration of Women in Hip Hop featuring Da Brat, Trina, Remy Ma, Monie Love, YoYo, Mama Sol, Tierra Whack, Ra Brown, and DJ EQUE.

"I Am Woman: A Celebration of Women in Hip Hop 2022"

"I Am Woman: A Celebration of Women in Hip Hop" (2023-07-27) by The Kennedy CenterThe John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

I Am Woman: A Celebration of Women in Hip Hop (2023)

MC Lyte presents I Am Woman: A Celebration in Hip Hop 2023 featuring Rapsody, Kash Doll, Bahamadia, and Mama Sol.   

"I Am Woman: Celebrating Women in Hip Hop 2023"

Queen Latifah performs at the Kennedy Center (2019-04-14) by Jati LindsayThe John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Kennedy Center Honoree Queen Latifah (2023)

In December 2023, Queen Latifah will be the first female Hip Hop artist to receive a Kennedy Center Honors.

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