HomeEntertainment“Hip-hop is the ultimate American art form”

“Hip-hop is the ultimate American art form”

Kamala Harris invited some of the rap world’s top artists, from Lil Wayne to Slick Rick, to perform at her home in Washington, D.C., on Saturday for what she called “the first-ever hip-hop house party at the Office of the Vice President of the United States.”

Harris celebrated hip-hop’s 50th anniversary from a stage built on her lawn with a guest list of rap stars including Common, Doug E. Fresh, MC Lyte and Fat Joe.

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“Hip-hop is the ultimate American art form,” Harris told the crowd. “Hip-hop now shapes nearly every aspect of American popular culture, reflecting the incredible diversity and ingenuity of the American people. It combines rhythms from the African continent, from the Caribbean, from Latin America, with the sounds of soul and gospel and R&B and funk to create something completely new.

“And just to be clear, hip-hop culture is American culture,” she continued. “It’s a genre. It’s music and melody and rhyme. And hip-hop is also an ethos of strength and self-determination, of ambition and aspiration, of pride, power and purpose.”

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Born in Oakland, California, Harris said she grew up listening to hip-hop music, knowing every word to the classic hit “Rapper’s Delight” as well as great albums from fellow Oaklander Too Short – who performed Saturday – during her college years. at Howard University.

“And why did we all love our hip-hop so much? One reason is that it speaks the truth, raw, unfiltered, without apology,” Harris said on stage.

The vice president danced with her husband, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, who joked about his old nickname Doug E. Fresh. Emhoff then pointed out that the real Doug E. Fresh would be performing at the event.

Lil Wayne closed the multi-hour concert with a performance of his hits “A Milli,” “Mrs. Officer” and “Uproar.” He thanked Harris and the White House for the invitation. “I appreciate this. My mother appreciates this too,” he said.

Harris teamed up with the Recording Academy’s Black Music Collective and Live Nation Urban to organize the commemoration, marking the first time a sitting vice president has hosted such a celebration. More than 400 guests were in attendance, including Jennifer Hudson, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Yvette Nicole Brown, Roland Martin, Jesse Collins, Tamika Mallory and Recording Academy CEO and President Harvey Mason Jr., who introduced Harris to the stage. Actor-comedian Deon Cole hosted the event.

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Other performers on Saturday included Jeezy, Remy Ma, D-Nice, Wale, Black Alley Band and Saba.

Mesfin Fekadu contributed to this report.

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