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Hip-Hop Festival Opens With ‘Nas’ at Kennedy Center

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(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for SXSW)

(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for SXSW)

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WASHINGTON — Rapper Nas is opening a hip-hop festival with the National Symphony Orchestra Pops this weekend at the Kennedy Center.

On Friday and Saturday nights, Nas is performing his 1994 debut album “Illmatic” with the orchestra to mark the album’s 20th anniversary.

The Kennedy Center is opening the two-week festival “One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide.” It will highlight original elements of hip-hop, including MCing, DJing, b-boying and graffiti writing. The festival runs through April 13.

Russell Simmons will host a concert featuring various artists April 9 under the theme “Faith, Hip-Hop, and the Common Good.”

The festival includes more than 20 ticketed and free performances. It includes music, theater and dance, including a b-boy dance competition. New graffiti murals also are being created in Washington neighborhoods.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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