YBCA(photo: Gabriel Bienczycki)

In its third iteration, YBCA brings you Clas/sick Hip Hop, a platform that appreciates hip-hop culture for its artistry, boldness and mobilizing effect. This year, they explore gender norms in hip-hop culture, celebrating the presence and impact of femininity in a subculture that has historically been characterized by hyper-masculinity.

The Clas/sick Hip Hop evening features an unparalleled music concert, UnderCover Presents A Tibute to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. UnderCover Presents brings the baddest local talent to bear on this legendary album, with 15 ensembles creating a musical cross-pollination ranging from jazz undertones, hip-hop, Latin rhythms, and high energy.

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, released in summer of 1998, earned 10 Grammy nominations and won five. Its legend has only grown over the past two decades. It's hard to believe this album wasn't a calculated choice for 2017 — though it was never not popular, Miseducation went on to carve out a very specific place for itself in cultural history. It's hard to find a critic that doesn't agree that this particular record had a hand in the rise of 21st-century activism: On it, Hill talks self-worth, self-doubt, and self-acceptance. The teens and 20-somethings that bought the record in droves are now turning up and turning out for their rights and the rights of others.

UnderCover's interpretation of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill features a varied cast of local musicians, including but not limited to Kev Choice, Cosa Nostra Strings, and The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol. For old time's sake, watch the classic split-screen "Doo Wop (That Thing)" video here:

YBCA's Clas/sick Hip Hop also brings you Opposing Forces, a hip-hop dance performance that challenges a gender binary approach to dance. Drawing on established hip-hop dance conventions like dance battles, breaking, and cyphering — styles that haven't historically embraced femininity. Opposing Forces seeks to shake up the dance status quo.

Both of them come together to form the Clas/sick Hip-Hop series at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts this month. The event will kick off with a happy hour, so don't miss it! Tickets for the individual shows or a discount package can be purchased here.

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