On many occasions we accredit prominence, fame, success and notoriety of various artists in hip hop by the amount of albums they've sold, the amount of years in the pin they endured, how many chains they rock, how big their homes are, or even by the type of whips they drive. How much success and wealth does that really exude? Not much in my opinion but when a historical and profound academic institution such as Harvard University, allows an artist (a hip hop artist at that) to be recognized in collaboration with The Hip Hop Archive and W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard, for creating a fellowship for the tuition assistance of students, prolific recognization should be equated to that artist's name.
The Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship was announced today in honor of the rapper Nas, whom is an avid supporter of knowledge and academics. Harvard's director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute of African and African American Research, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., said, "Nas is a true visionary, and he consistently shows how boundaries can pushed and expanded to further the cause of education and knowledge".
Marcyliena Morgan, founder of the Hip Hop Archives, said "With the introduction of the Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship, we will continue to be the leading resource for those interested in knowing, developing, building, maintaining and representing Hip-Hop". In response to the news about the scholarship today, Nas said, "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 hardwork, alongside great names like Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and W.E.B. Du Bois and to such a historical and prestigous institution, and all in the name of the music I grew to be a part of," he said. The statement for the scholarship says the fellowship will be awarded to those who show academic excellence and creatively show that "Education is Power". This defines true success and is an exemplary model of philanthropy at its best. Big ups to Nas.
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"Stars open among the lilies. Are you not blinded by such expressionless sirens? This is the silence of astounded souls."
~Sylvia Plath, from Crossing the Water