Q-Tip joins forces with First Lady Michelle Obama in honoring some of the country’s best young poets

by Dominick J. Fils-Aimé | September 16, 2016

This thursday, Sept. 8, A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip will join forces with First Lady Michelle Obama to produce a special ceremony honoring some of the country’s best young poets. This will mark the 5th annual class being commemorated in association with the National Student Poets Program.

Five students will join Q-Tip and Michelle Obama at the White House this week for a special ceremony commemorating the works of these young poets.

Joining Q-Tip and the First Lady will be five students, representing each region of the country’s 10th and 11th grade poets. This year’s honorees are: Stella Binion from Chicago (representing the Midwest Region); Maya Eashwaran from Alpharetta, Georgia (Southeast); Gopal Raman from Dallas (Southwest); Joey Reisberg from Towson, Maryland (Northeast); and Maya Salameh from San Diego (West).

Q-Tip’s participation in the event is one of perks of his new role as The Kennedy Center’s Artistic Director for Hip-Hop Culture, which we earned earlier this year.The hip hop legends involvement in the ceremony comes just weeks after Epic Records Chairman and CEO L.A. Reid revealed that A Tribe Called Quest secretly recorded a new album prior to the passing of group member Phife Dawg, during a Rap Radar Podcast.

“[It is] a brand new album that they recorded before Phife [Dawg] passed away,” Reid let slip. “I’m really happy about it man, it’s really something special. It’s one of the things I’m most excited about over everything we’re working on.”

Since its inception in 2011, the National Student Poets Program has helped students illustrate the value of writing and the arts in academic and personal success. This year, First Lady Michelle Obama will also recognize the first class of the Spoken Word Ambassador, honoring students who demonstrate a keen sense of storytelling, critical thinking, and creativity in analyzing their communities.

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