Smithsonian to hold inaugural hip-hop block party in August

The Smithsonian is celebrating the one-year anniversary of its hip-hop and rap anthology with a free block party in D.C.

On Aug. 13, the National Museum of African American History and Culture is holding its inaugural Hip-Hop Block Party. Local and national talent will perform, and there will be indoor and outdoor presentations and activities that will explore hip-hop’s origins and influence.

“The origins of hip-hop and rap rest in [communities] where people gathered together in basements, on street corners, neighborhood dance parties and community shows to tell the stories of the people and places that brought it to life in a language all its own,” said Dwandalyn Reece, associate director for curatorial affairs at NMAAHC.



Last year, the museum released the anthology that chronicles “hip-hop’s growth and impact from the parks of the Bronx to the broadest areas of the American experience and worldwide influence,” a Smithsonian news release said.

Performers during the day include radio personality Vic Jagger, dance troupe Culture Shock DC, Alphabet Rockers and Mumu Fresh.

Evening festivities include a concert with performances by The Halluci Nation, D Smoke and DJ Spinderella, among others.

The museum’s Sweet Home Cafe will offer a hip-hop-inspired menu, and Hip-Hop Block Party merchandise will be available to purchase in the museum’s store.

On Sunday, Aug. 14, the museum will premiere gOD-Talk 2.0: Hip-Hop & #BlackFaith, the seventh episode of the web-based series, live on Facebook.

The Hip-Hop Block Party is free, but tickets are required for entry and are available through the museum’s website.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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