Exploring Hip Hop Art at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington



Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC. I'm Doug Johnson. On our show today, we:

Play music by the newest members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ... 

Explain the mysterious fear of the number thirteen ...

And visit a new art show celebrating hip hop culture.


Hip Hop Art

The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. recently opened an exciting new show called "Recognize! Hip Hop and Contemporary Portraiture." The exhibit celebrates the importance of American hip hop culture by showing the work of six artists and a poet. Faith Lapidus has more.


When you walk into the exhibit area of "Recognize!" you see the strikingly bright colors considered for the Hall of Fame twenty-five years after the release of their first recording.

The president of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation calls this year's inductees "trailblazers."  One of them, Madonna, got her start in the early nineteen eighties and became one of the most successful entertainers ever.  Here she sings "Vogue."


In the nineteen sixties, the Dave Clark Five was part of the so-called British invasion of America, along with the Beatles and other groups.  Here the band performs "Do You Love Me."


Canadian Leonard Cohen is a folk rock music hero.  Many musicians perform his songs which have an unusual beauty. Here he sings "Hallelujah."


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame also honors John Mellencamp this year.  We leave you with this American artist performing a song that seems just right for this report. Here is "R.O.C.K. in the USA."



I'm Doug Johnson.  I hope you enjoyed our program today.

It was written by Caty Weaver and Dana Demange, who was also our producer. To read the text of this program and download audio, go to our Web site, 51voa.com. 

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