Nas recently spoke with Rolling Stone about being hesitant at first for causes such as his “Nasir Jones Hip Hop Fellowship” at Harvard University.
“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.”
“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.”
A few months ago, Nas released a statement detailing his 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.”