Today, Thursday, September 8th, First Lady Michelle Obama and legendary hip-hop figure and recent Epic Records artist Q-Tip honor the fifth annual class of the National Student Poets Program. Q-Tip will be serving in his role as The Kennedy Center’s Artistic Director for Hip-Hop Culture. The pair will welcome five student poets to the White House for a special celebration and poetry reading.
Q-Tip is known around the world as the co-founder and moving force behind luminary rap trio A Tribe Called Quest, who transcended racial and genre boundaries to solidify hip-hop’s place in American culture and become one of music’s most enduring acts. Tribe has released five studio albums as well as multiple compilations; Q-Tip has also recorded several solo albums while writing and producing for countless artists including Beyoncé, Jay Z, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Mark Ronson, D’Angelo and John Legend, to name a few. Q-Tip also hosts Abstract Radio, his Beats 1 Radio show.
The National Student Poets Program represents the highest honor for America’s 10th and 11th grade poets. Each year since its inception, the program has selected a handful of standouts—each representing a different geographic region. The students are celebrated for their command of written and spoken language. This year’s honorees are: Stella Binion from Chicago, IL (representing the Midwest Region); Maya Eashwaran from Alpharetta, GA (Southeast); Gopal Raman from Dallas, TX (Southwest); Joey Reisberg from Towson, MD (Northeast); Maya Salameh from San Diego, CA (West).