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Next up at the Kennedy Center? A new focus on hip-hop

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Kennedy Center, one of America's pre-eminent performing arts institutions, is embracing hip-hop culture in a major way.

The center has gradually introduced rap music into its programming, with rappers like Kendrick Lamar performing with the National Symphony Orchestra.

Now the center has tapped two members of hip-hop royalty to act as its bridges into the rap world. Q-Tip from the rap group A Tribe Called Quest has been named artistic director for hip-hop culture, and late last year LL Cool J became the first rapper inducted into the elite ranks of Kennedy Center Honors recipients.

The center's president says she's willing to ruffle some feathers among the core opera-and-ballet audience, but insists it's the center's natural mission to showcase what she calls "a truly American art form."

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