Grandmaster Flash, Furious 5, Common Featured in Smithsonian

Rock n Roll Hall of Fame inductees Grandmaster and the Furious Five and rapper LL Cool J will be among those featured in a new Smithsonian exhibition on Hip-Hop culture launching in February.

The exhibit, titled Recognize! Hip-Hop and Contemporary Portraiture, is the first exhibition at the Smithsonian to examine the influence of the Hip-Hop music and style on American culture.

Photographs by David Scheinbaum will be displayed, as well as paintings by Kehinde Wiley, video self-portraits by Jefferson Pinder and several works commissioned specifically for the show, which will showcase Hip-Hop as a cultural phenomenon that has had a broad impact on self-expression and portrayal.

Various artists, including rapper Common and singer Erykah Badu, will also be featured in the exhibition, which will open Feb. 8 and run through Oct. 26 at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

"Recognize! Hip-Hop and Contemporary Portraiture shows that much of the art inspired by the Hip-Hop movement is a form of portrayal," said Gallery director Marc Pachter. "Music, photography, painting, poetry and even graffiti provide a medium for self-expression and establishing identity."

Recognize! Hip-Hop and Contemporary Portraiture will also include works of poetry, spoken word and graffiti.

An ode to Hip-Hop, titled "It's Not a Just Situation," will be published in an accompanying booklet for the exhibition.

The poem, which was written by award-winning poet Nikki Giovanni will also be displayed in an exhibition gallery.

Brooklyn, N.Y.-based artist Shinique Smith will interpret the poem and create an installation in the same gallery that will include an audio component.

Washington, D.C.-based graffiti artists Tim Conlon and Dave Hupp contributed to the exhibition by creating four 20-foot-long murals that will be installed in the corridor that connects the galleries.

Recognize! Hip-Hop and Contemporary Portraiture is the newest addition to the National Portrait Gallery, a nearly 20,000-work collection of paintings, sculpture, photographs, drawings and new media that tell the stories of America through individuals who have shaped its culture.

The Portrait Gallery is open to public from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. everyday, except Dec. 25. Recognize! Hip-Hop and Contemporary Portraiture

Opens Feb. 8 at the National Portrait Gallery.