Harvard has honored Nas by establishing the Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship at the university. The fellowship by the Hip-Hop Archives and W.E.B Du Bois Institute will fund scholars and artists who show productive scholarship and creative potential in the arts in connection with hip-hop.
"Having welcomed various artists and scholars, the Hip-Hop Archive and Research Institute is uncompromising in our commitment to build and support intellectually challenging and innovative scholarship that reflects the rigor and achievement of hip-hop performance," said Marcyliena Morgan, Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University and founder and director of the Hip-Hop Archive and Research Institute.
Added Nas, "I am immensely over-the-top excited about the Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship at Harvard. From Queens, NY 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."
Established in 2002, the Hip-Hop Archive seeks to build on the traditions of the genre while also tracing the historical context through critical analysis. It also aims to help students explore their creativity with innovative projects. Nas was selected for the honor by a committee of university faculty members.
"Nas is a true visionary, and he consistently shows how boundaries can be pushed and expanded to further the cause of education and knowledge. The work of the Du Bois Institute is enriched by the addition of the Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship," said Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research.
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This article originally appeared on Rolling Stone: Harvard Establishes a Nas Hip-Hop Fellowship