As a kickoff to the Harlem Festival of Culture (HFC) coming in July, Grammy-winning artist Lil’ Kim will headline a special concert at the Apollo Theater. The Jump Off with Lil’ Kim and Friends will take place on Jan. 26, the 89th anniversary of the legendary venue. Presented by Infiniti, the concert also signals the launch of HFC’s partnership with the Apollo for the upcoming festival weekend.
“It’s going to be a night to remember to help kick off the Harlem Festival of Culture’s road to the festival with some of my special friends,” Lil’ Kim said in a statement of what will be her first time headlining at the theater. “Apollo was like my backyard; I played there so much and every time it was always love. The crowd is always amazing!”
“As we prepared to start on this road to the launch of the festival, we realized that this was also a milestone year for hip-hop and knew that our first major event out of the gate had to be special and center around hip-hop and R&B,” added HFC co-founder and technical & talent producer Yvonne McNair. “One of the tenants of HFC’s mission is to celebrate and preserve the cultural contributions of the Black Diaspora in music, media, art, fashion and entertainment. Hip-hop culture has touched every single part of society, and there is no artist that better represents its far-reaching impact than Lil’ Kim. We’re so thrilled that Kim will help us curate the evening to bring a full, one-of-a-kind music experience to audiences in the city where it all began. We’re also excited to launch this event and our festival journey with our partners.”
The multiplatinum rapper, actress and fashion innovator will perform her classic hits, including “No Time,” “Not Tonight (Ladies Night Remix)” and “Crush on You.” That trio of singles made Kim the first female rapper to land three consecutive No. 1’s on Billboard’s Rap Songs chart. In addition to Hard Core, the double-platinum debut album that spun off those hits, her catalog includes the platinum-certified albums The Notorious K.I.M. and La Bella Mafia and the Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 “Lady Marmalade” with her alongside Christina Aguilera, Pink and Mya. The lineup of hip-hop friends who will be joining Lil’ Kim onstage for the Jump Off will be revealed closer to the show date.
Initially announced in April 2022, the Harlem Festival of Culture was inspired by the historic Harlem Cultural Festival that was held in 1969 and spotlighted in Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s Oscar-winning documentary Summer of Soul ( …Or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised). Aside from Infiniti and the Apollo, HFC’s official media partners are All Arts and Billboard. Its additional partners include AMC Networks, Steve Madden and Northwell Health.