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T.I. will celebrate hip-hop’s 50th anniversary at Essence Festival of Culture

<i>Prince Williams/WireImage/Getty Images</i><br/>Rapper T.I. performs during Legendz Of The Streetz Tour Reloaded at State Farm Arena on March 5 in Atlanta
Prince Williams/WireImage/Getty Images
Rapper T.I. performs during Legendz Of The Streetz Tour Reloaded at State Farm Arena on March 5 in Atlanta

By Lisa Respers France, CNN

(CNN) — T.I. definitely has some things he wants to do to celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop this year.

Just don’t ask him for any dates or details.

“I suck at planning things,” he recently told CNN. “I’m just a horrible arranger of dates and schedules.”

“Whatever I end up doing would probably be decided definitively, probably about two to three weeks out,” he added. “But it will definitely be magnificent.”

One thing he will be participating in, which does have the details nailed down, is the Essence Festival of Culture from June 29 through July 3 in New Orleans.

The event is billed as “the preeminent experience of all things Black.” For the first time this year, the festival’s evening concert series will feature all hip-hop headliners.

As one of the biggest rappers in hip-hop to come out of the South, T.I. will be part of a special performance curated by a fellow Atlanta, Georgia star, producer Jermaine Dupri.

“I’m super excited to perform at this year’s Essence Festival and represent my city because when I first started, everybody called me country and told me we ain’t know nothing about hip-hop,” said Dupri, who was born in North Carolina but grew up in Atlanta. “They deliberately left us out of so many conversations! So, I really appreciate Essence for allowing me to curate what will become one of the most memorable moments in the celebration of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary.”

T.I. is excited about the event too.

He said he didn’t hesitate given that Dupri, whom he called a “pioneer” of Southern hip-hop and culture, asked him to participate.

Not wanting to spoil any surprises, T.I. would only say the performance will be an ensemble guaranteed to move the crowd.

“We gonna turn up,” he said.

The official birthday of hip-hop is August 11, 1973, the date in which a party in the South Bronx marked the beginnings of the genre that includes not only music, but also dance, fashion and culture.

T.I. told CNN that in addition to the the hip-hop celebration, this year also marks a pivotal anniversary for trap music, a subgenre of hip-hop birthed in the South in the 1990s.

The rapper co-founded the Trap Music Museum in Atlanta and told CNN he’s also working on some events centered around Trap.

“Whatever we feel that we aren’t getting from the hip hop celebration, I think we could make up for it with the trap music celebration,” T.I. said.

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