You may remember last year when news broke that Nas, real name Nasir Jones, would have his own fellowship at Harvard University . The Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship” would serve as a scholarship for artists who show excellence, productive abilities in the arts as it relates to the art of Hip Hop. Nas joined Harvard professors to discuss the importance of Hip Hop in a recent video that was released on ammuntiongroup.com.
In the video, Nas expressed that Hip Hop is so much more than meets the public eye.
“A lot of people would think, ‘Oh, it’s just music,’” Said Nas. “‘Oh, it’s too vulgar, it’s too this or that,’ but that music represents the world. That music represents our youth. So when you don’t pay attention to it, you kinda missing out on your youth. The same youth that you wanna protect, you need to understand them by understanding the music they listen to.”
The director of the Hip Hop Archive at Harvard, Marcyliena Morgan, also expressed what she feels is at the core of Hip Hop.
“The heart of Hip Hop is the critique,” she said. “It’s about, are you working at the highest possible level? It’s about practicing. You can’t be a Hip Hop artist without a lot of practice. Hip Hop really does redesign what the notion is. So your competition is with yourself; it’s with others. But it’s not about just you, which is very much what happens in the academy. It’s about your contribution to the world as well.”
Nas then went on to describe what he hopes to accomplish with the fellowship.
“Hip Hop represents fast life, for the most part,” said the Queens emcee. “So, hopefully they see there’s a slow-down period, and there’s more to it than just running fast. It’s a marathon. You see Harvard and Hip Hop together, I hope that it says something to younger mes out there. I hope it speaks to them, like, there’s more to the future than what we’re racing to. Hopefully, this gives hope on an educational level.”
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