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D.C.’s National Celebration of Hip Hop Features Ice-T and Public Enemy, Among Others

The celebrations we’ve seen this year for hip-hop’s 50th anniversary continue to march on. With NYC hosting many of the summer’s biggest events in this vein, Washington D.C. is next up in the rotation, with the National Celebration of Hip Hop set to take place on Friday, October 6th, and Saturday, October 7th.

Some of the celebrations that we’ve seen throughout 2023 have been all-encompassing, taking fans and audiences through the entire 50-year run of the genre and including acts both new and old. Take the Rock The Bells festival, which paired 2000s acts like Swizz Beatz and Ludacris with true originators of the art form like Big Daddy Kane and Rakim. Likewise, on the small screen, the tribute that took place at the VMAs gave equal time to Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and Young Money MCs Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne. The National Celebration of Hip Hop is taking an angle of homage, however, focusing its lineup almost entirely on the first 25 years of the genre.

Ice-T, taken from a recent live performance. Credit to @icet on Instagram.

Recognizing the Pioneers of Rap Music

Arguably, the biggest names slated for performances are Public Enemy and Ice-T, each of whom released platinum albums in the latter half of the 1980s. But, that shouldn’t detract from the star power booked further down in the list. Accordingly, more veterans of that time period will make appearances, like the legendary duo Kid ‘n Play and legendary rapper Kurtis Blow. Early pioneers like Melle Melle, CL Smooth, and the Sugarhill Gang are also tabbed to take the stage.

All of this will take place at West Potomac Park, located within The National Mall, on October 6th and 7th. And, if all of this was not already enticing enough, tickets are entirely free. To find out more information on how to attend, head to the event’s official website.

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