Nas Discusses Hip Hop Fellowship At Harvard University

posted Friday November 01 ,2013 at 11:00AM CDT | 24 comments

Nas Discusses Hip Hop Fellowship At Harvard University

Nas also says "Hip Hop is important like computer science."

The Nasir Jones Hip Hop Fellowship at Harvard University came to be due to a major endowment from an anonymous donor who specifically asked that Nas be the face of the initiative. The fellowship is meant to pay for research and Hip Hop related programs at the university for visiting scholars. 

During an interview with Rolling Stone, Nas, born Nasir Jones, spoke about why he wasn't always on board with initiatives such as this one.

"I said no to a lot of things in my twenties," the Queens, New York rapper said. "In the beginning, I was a fighter. I'm always going to be a fighter, but I fight differently, for different reasons, today."

Nas, who did not finish high school, explained how Hip Hop added to his education. 

"One thing that drew me to Hip Hop was the things Kurtis Blow was saying, the things Melle Mel was saying." Nas said. "I would ask my folks, 'What do Run-D.M.C. or Rakim mean by this?'" 

He continued, describing Hip Hop's importance in education.

"Hip Hop is important like computer science," Nas said. "The world is changing. If you want to understand the youth, listen to the music. This is what's happening right underneath your nose."

In July, Nas released a statement about the fellowship.

“In my rollercoaster 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," Nas said in a statement provided by the Island Def Jam Music Group, which releases Nas' music. "But I am immensely over-the-top excited about the Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship at Harvard. From Queens, New York to true cultural academia. 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.” 

During Nas' career, he has discussed education in various ways. On his 1994 debut album Illmatic's "One Love," Nas spoke about lies in school textbooks. "Fuck a school lecture," Nas rapped on the track. In 2001, Nas claimed "teachers never cared" on Stillmatic's "2nd Childhood." On the same track, he said teachers were "paid just to show up and leave." In 2002, on God Son's "I Can," Nas described the importance of literacy. He rapped about the importance of knowing how to "read and write." On the same song, he asks children to "read more, learn more, change the globe." 

RELATED: Nas Honored With Hip Hop Fellowship At Harvard

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Comments 24 Posts

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  • 666
    • Anonymous
      lol fucking dumbass
  • 666
  • Harlem's Reckoning
    Good look for Nas. Finishing High School is something that we want as a minimum for our kids, but we know full well that having a degree of any kind doesn't mean your smart, it simply means you've fulfilled a required course of study. The ability to be successful under any circumstances rely on intelligence and instincts and Nas seems to have both.
    • Anonymous
      Graduating means you saw something through and fulfilled a requirement that millions of kids do every year. Saying it's ok for Nas to not have graduated sends a wrong message, cause for every one Nas, there are alot more who drop out and do nothing with their life. Nas's past success wasn't a fluke, but if he had to do it over again I believe he might think twice about dropping out.
    • Anonymous
      cosign harlem, anon1 don't see it the high school dropout is addressing a student body of one of the "prestigious" universities in the world living as lifestyle they crave for I graduated with a degree but are successful in a different field of study this story is to inspire, not mislead
    • A Person
      Nas did say that his greatest regret was dropping out of high school. I respect that he has the balls to admit that, not sure that many people in his position (still wildly successful despite that) would admit it.
    • Anonymous
      "I graduated with a degree but are successful" LOLOL what a joke
    • Anonymous
      "I graduated with a degree but are successful" I really doubt you even went to elementary school.
  • Anonymous
    The donor was Kelis.
    • Anonymous
  • Lacey W. Laughter
    up to I saw the check which was of $6892, I have faith that my neighbours mother trully taking home money parttime on there computar.. there mums best friend has done this 4 only about nineteen months and at present paid for the morgage on their home and purchased Alfa Romeo. look here...
  • Anonymous
    Loser didn't even finish high school. Way to go Nasir lol In other news, Rick Ross has a Masters degree in street economics.
    • Anonymous
      I sense sarcasm in your comment.
    • Anonymous
    • Anonymous
      with a minor is policing
  • Nazir
    I wonder who the anonymous donor was that requested Nas be the face of the initiative ?
    • bswag
      exactly.anonymous for a reason. You can bet he aint black. IMO its just done to fuel anger against black people.
    • Anonymous
      ^you know the bitches gonna hate because they miserable
    • Anonymous
      it was jay-z
  • Griff
    Hopefully we can respectfully keep the fans and haters in the middle with all of us on this. I also salute Nas for this. The donor asked for him but it didn't mean he HAD to do it. Also if you look at lyrical content used to educate. None better.
  • Anonymous
    This is crazy! Real good look, salutes Nas
  • Har-magedon, G.O.D.
    Something positive for a change, no stupidity, no let the crabs come out of the barrel and the hate begin.