Image:
Bruno Guerrero

 BY: Matt Pusatory (WUSA9), Randolph Sturdivant

WASHINGTON — Hip-hop turned 50 this year, and to celebrate, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture is throwing a block party. The get-down is on Saturday, Aug. 12, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. with discussion panels and exhibits inside the museum and stage show outside.

“This year’s celebration will honor 50 years of hip-hop’s artistry, innovation and global transcendence — recognizing the culture and music that has been originated and shaped by Black America for decades,” the museum says.

Here’s who you’ll be able to catch at the party. Musical performances begin at 1:30 p.m. and continue through 10 p.m.

J. PERIOD

Monie Love

Adam Blackstone

Kid Capri

Mumu Fresh

DJ Beauty and the Beatz

Vic Jagger

Sugar Bear

DJ Marc Nfinit

Miss H.E.R.

DJ Cuzzin B

The night ends with a dance party featuring a world-renowned DJ who is revealed moments before the performance. 

Here’s what’s going on inside the museum from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.:

Heritage Hall (L1)

  • Talk Back Boards for audiences to share their thoughts on trending hip-hop news  
  • Step and repeats for visitors to pose and photograph themselves wearing 1970s- to the 2000s- era hip-hop fashions and accessories
  • Hip-Hop Trivia – audiences will test their knowledge of the who, what and when of the genre’s half-century emergence 
  • My Memories Photo Booth Collection Photo 

Oprah Winfrey Theater (Concourse)

  • Periodic screenings of hip-hop films from the NMAAHC’s storied collections including, Graffiti Rock, and Wild Style with a post-screening discussion featuring each film’s director as well as other premier releases 
  • Rhymes & Rebounds: Exploring the Fusion of Hip-Hop and Basketball is a conversation between journalist and cultural observer, Justin Tinsley and Flau’jae Johnson, rapper, and college basketball player for the 2023 NCAA Champion LSU Tigers about the intersection of art and sports 

Explore More! Interactive Gallery (L2)

  • Offer collections care workshops as well as make-and-take opportunities
  • Design and Make Your Own Tag activities 
  • Sneaker Workshop courtesy of Sole Wash Sneaker Cleaning and Restoration 

“Power of Place,” Community Galleries (L3)

  • Tour and Discussion of the Park Jam Bronx Installation cited as the birthplace of hip-hop and rap 
  • Hip-Hop and Rap Object Highlights Tour 
  • Rap-influenced verse produced for audiences by The Typewriter Poets 

The event is free but passes are required to attend. They will be available to the public beginning Monday, July 31. More information can be found here.

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