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Harvard launches fellowship program named after rapper, Nas

Kori Truitt/Special to the New York Amsterdam News | 8/2/2013, 6:33 a.m.
Nasir Jones, known by his rapper name “Nas,” recently had a Harvard University fellowship named in his honor, according to ...
Nasir Jones, also known as the hip hop artist Nas Courtesy photo

Nasir Jones, known by his rapper name “Nas,” recently had a Harvard University fellowship named in his honor, according to a press release on the Def Jam website. The Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellowship will fund Harvard scholars and artists whose work show creative ability in the arts as it relates to Hip Hop.

The fellowship was established by The Hip Hop Archive and the W. E. B. DuBois Institute at Harvard. The Hiphop archive was founded by 2002 by Marcyliena Morgan, a professor of African and African American Studies at the university. According to The Hiphop archive site, the archive’s mission is to “facilitate and encourage the pursuit of knowledge, art, culture and responsible leadership through Hip Hop.”

A selection committee of Harvard faculty members will choose the fellows.

“The mission of the Hiphop Archive is threefold: to seek projects from scholars and artists that build on the rich and complex hiphop tradition; to respect that tradition through historically grounded and contextualized critical insights; and most importantly to represent one’s creative and/or intellectually rigorous contribution to hiphop and the discourse through personal and academic projects,” read the release for the new fellowship.

Jones has released three consecutive albums under the Def Jam record label, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart. He has also been featured in several films, including “Belly,” “Ticker” and “Sacred Is the Flesh.” He is also going to be featured in the musical film, “Black Nativity,” along with many notable celebrities—including Mary J. Blige, Tyrese Gibson, Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker and Angela Basset.

“My hopes are that greed for knowledge, art, self-determination and expression go a long way,” Jones said in the press release. “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.”

The online application for the fellowship will be available on October 2, 2013 of this year and the deadline to apply is December 1, 2013. The fellowship is open to scholars, artists and writers at any stage in their careers.

For more information, visit: www.hiphoparchive.org or email:

Krishna Lewis at krishna_lewis@harvard.edu.