Harvard University has announced the Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship – a scholarship created to support individuals who exhibit academic and artistic excellence in connection with hip-hop – named in honor of the legendary Queensbridge MC Nas. The fellowship launched by the The Hip-Hop Archive and the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard is built upon the core belief that education is power. While much of Nas’ knowledge was gleaned outside of the classroom as a dropout, his wisdom and intellect remain undeniably sharp. Nas’ catalog of works has influenced countless fans and rappers who embrace the command of language and vivid imagination that have helped to seal his place as one of the greatest rappers of all time. The Harvard Hip-Hop Archive was established in 2002 and is piloted by founder Marcyliena Morgan. The archive last made headlines with the announcement that 9th Wonder would be welcomed to the prestigious institution as a Harvard Fellow. The W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard is headed by Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. In a statement following the announcement, Nas responded to news of the honor:
“In my roller-coaster of a life, I’ve endured good and bad for sure, and I’ve truly been blessed to have achieved so much through art in my short life thus far. But I am immensely over-the-top excited about the Nasir Jones hip-hop fellowship at Harvard. From Queens, N.Y., to true cultural academia,”
Continuing, Nas stated:
“My hopes are that greed for knowledge, art, self-determination and expression go a long way. It is a true honor to have my name attached to so much hard work, alongside great names like Henry Louis Gates Jr. and W.E.B. Du Bois and to such a prestigious and historical institution, and all in the name of the music I grew to be a part of.”
Fellows will be chosen for the program by a selection committee at Harvard University. No word yet on whether Nas will be lecturing on campus, but that is not out of the question. Read more about the Harvard Hip-Hop Archive and the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University here. Check the Nas freestyle below.