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Kennedy Center to Host Hip-Hop Festival in 2014

Kennedy Center to host hip-hop festival in 2014

Hip-hop artists including rappers Nas and Somalia-born K'naan will take center stage in an unexpected place next year, highlighting their generation and art form alongside opera, ballet and theater at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

The center, a memorial to President John F. Kennedy, announced Tuesday that its 2013-2014 season would include the weeklong festival "One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide." It also plans to feature an international theater festival with works from at least 10 different nations and new American works commissioned in theater, opera and music.

The 2014 hip-hop festival will open with Nas rapping with musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra on music from his classic debut album Illmatic. The festival will also feature Puerto Rican musicians Calle 13 and a graffiti exhibition.

The mix of rap, DJing and graffiti with more traditional arts at one of the nation's busiest performing arts centers will make the year unique, Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser said.

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