A Kennedy Center Honors first: Rap on the red carpet – tech2.org

A Kennedy Center Honors first: Rap on the red carpet



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Kennedy Center Award winner LL Cool J walks the red carpet on December 3. (Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post)

Think of the red carpet before the Kennedy Center honors ceremony on Sunday night as a warm-up act for the big show, sort of like when the actors do those voice exercises before the curtain. Before taking the big stage, the five honorees and the high profile people who will pay tribute to them will pbad by a group of cameras and reporters to take a look at what is to come and take a look at the super secret list. of VIP artists. (My God, is that super dancer Misty Copeland? R & B legend Chaka Khan?)

This year, the theme of the night seemed to be "arts, not politics," a sentiment made necessary by the high decision. profile of President Trump and first lady, Melania Trump, not to attend the ceremony or to organize the traditional pre-game reception at the White House. The snub-which marked the first time in the 40-year history of the event that a president or a first lady did not participate-came after three of the five honorees said they planned to skip it or were thinking of leaving if the Trumps They were involved.

"No distractions! It's about the arts," said rapper and actor LL Cool J, the first rap or hip-hop artist to have one of those Kennedy Center rainbow medals hanging around his neck. "It does not help for me to stand up in a gallery and be divisive," said LL, who wore a velvet hat to match his tuxedo jacket. "It's about tonight's art, it's about Lionel and Gloria, it's about Carmen and Norman."

That was not just a random name: his fellow honorees, the musicians Lionel Richie and Gloria Estefan, the dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade and the television producer Norman Lear. [19659003] But some of the honorees who followed him were not so willing (were they capable?) To keep silent when it came to the president. Many attendees said they were relieved not to have Trump in the front and center box (it just spoiled the "party mood," said Richie radio presenter and friend Tom Joyner).

Lear arrived wearing his characteristic white hat (natch) and without any remorse for rejecting the invitation to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. "I did not want to accept whatever the White House had to offer," he said. "Of a White House that does not care about the arts and the humanities, not only not helping, but cutting, and turning its back totally on art and the humanities, and that is the opposite of what is going to happen tonight" [19659008] The Honorable Carmen de Lavallade walks the red carpet at the Kennedy Center. (Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post)

De Lavallade, who looked positively regal in a purple satin dress, agreed. "I do not hold a grudge against anyone, but I thought, I just can not," he said. "Why would I shake the hand of someone who does not like you, who wants to take away your livelihood?" [

[ President Trump does not have a substitute in attendance at Kennedy Center Honors]

Agree, then not having a president or first lady in attendance is unprecedented for the prestigious event , but there was another Kennedy Center Honors first: The 2017 red carpet had what could be its inaugural rap performance, courtesy of Busta Rhymes, who blew out one or two verses of the 1990 hit of LL Cool J "Mama Said Knock You Out "

"Do not call it a comeback / I've been here for years / I'm shaking my companions / Puttin's idiots … with fear …" He said, punctuating the letters with a movement of a white arm with tuxedo.

In another sign that 2017 is a new era, Estefan, the first Cuban-American to receive the Kennedy Center honors, insinuated that the rest of the night was not going to be serious either. "We did the conga in places you would never imagine," he said with an arch of an eyebrow.

Richie was the final honoree to make his way down the red carpet, stopping to pose for photos with his family, including his daughter Nicole Richie, and a group of longtime friends. Asked what he expected Trump to get from the program if he saw it on television (the program aired on December 26 on CBS), Richie found a way to carefully re-examine Trump's implied criticism with a supplement to finance the arts. . . "I think we should get more money for the arts," he said. "A lot of money!"

Leaving politics aside, the red carpet offered an idea of ​​some unlikely links between the diverse group of tribute artists and tribute artists, many of whom attended other events over the weekend.

Among the improvised mashups were the triple threat Rita Moreno, honored in 2015 and performer at this year's ceremony, who said that LL Cool J had approached her the night before and told her that she loved to "The Electric Company", a children's program of PBS of which was original member of the cast. "I thought: I can not believe I'm a fan of that show!", He said enthusiastically.

Busta Rhymes also met a childhood favorite. "I fell in love with Lynda Carter when I was 12," she said, referring to the original TV "Wonder Woman," which is also a regular at Kennedy Center Honors. "Here I am, I am 45 years old, and I will meet her." … He looks incredibly impressive, he's still a superhero to me "

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