Smarten Up, Nas: Harvard Begins Nasir Jones Hip Hop Fellowship

Smarten Up, Nas: Harvard Begins “Nasir Jones Hip Hop Fellowship”

(AllHipHop News)  This warrants a “hip hop hooray” chant from the South Bronx all the way to Alaska.

The Hip-Hop Archive and the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University announced today the inception of the Nasir Jones Hip Hop Fellowship. According to the press release, the fellowship will help fund future exceptional Hip Hop artists:

The Fellowship will provide selected scholars and artists with an opportunity to show that “education is real power,” as it builds upon the achievements of those who demonstrate exceptional capacity for productive scholarship and exceptional creative ability in the arts, in connection with hip-hop.

Nas’ penchant for social commentary and intellectual analysis has “helped usher in an original form of hip-hop debate and analysis that reflects on and represents urban youth angst and conflict as well as intelligence, confidence and ambition” according to the press release.

The recepients of the fellowship will be selected by members of Harvard University.

Recently, Harvard University has begun honoring Hip Hop and Nas has been integral in that prior to the fellowship’s beginning. In 2012, highly acclaimed Hip Hop producer 9th Wonder became a Harvard Fellow and engaged in an academic projecte called “These Are The Breaks” where he tracked down all the original samples from a few classic Hip Hop albums to archive them permanently in the Harvard Library. One of those albums was Illmatic.

Check out a clip from 9th Wonder’s documentary “The Harvard Fellow” which documented his time at Harvard from the moment he received the acceptance letter in March of 2012 to when he engaged in the research project: