The return of the BBC Urban Classic takes place on Saturday 3 March.
Billed as “a unique mash-up of musical cultures,” the Urban Classic pairs some of the UK’s top hip hop artists with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
The one-night-only event will go down at the Barbican and feature performances by Fazer, Ms. Dynamite, Devlin, and Skepta. Fresh off his collaboration with Basement Jaxx, genre-pushing composer Jules Buckley will be conducting the orchestra.
Although it risks being seen as a novelty event, the Urban Classic is a continuation of the cultural remixing that has defined hip hop since its creation. In fact, you don’t need to dig too deep to find orchestral compositions already chopped up into beats; famous tracks by the Streets and Nas, for example, make use of iconic classical pieces.
The Urban Classic is being put on in partnership with Biggafish, a Hackney-based non-profit that uses hip hop to engage young people.
The event is part of Music Nation, a UK-wide weekend of performances that mark the official countdown to the 2012 Games.
As one of the Olympic host boroughs, Hackney will be seeing many more cultural events in the coming months, including Radio 1’s massive Hackney Weekend, 23-24 June./ 28 February, 2012