Nas Speaks On Hip Hop’s Educational Value
Nas teamed with the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute’s Henry Louis Gates and Hip Hop Archive and Research Institute’s Marcyliena Morgan to create the Nasir Jones Hip Hop Fellowship. The Harvard University program provides opportunities for students to research and develop Hip Hop centered projects like performance pieces, curriculum planning, and exhibition preparation.
From its earliest days Hip Hop has served as not just an outlet of artistic expression but also as a vehicle to transport knowledge to its listeners. While Nas never completed high school the exceptional lyricist recently spoke with Rolling Stone about how Hip Hop was an early form of education for him.
“One thing that drew me to Hip Hop was the things Kurtis Blow was saying, the things Melle Mel was saying,” shared Nas who also revealed he had dreams of attending North Carolina State University. “I would ask my folks, ‘What do Run-D.M.C. or Rakim mean by this?’”
The creator of classic rap albums like Illmatic and It Was Written also talked about how Hip Hop and other forms of music shed a light on the thoughts and feelings of young people.
“Hip Hop is important like computer science,” he added. “The world is changing. If you want to understand the youth, listen to the music. This is what’s happening right underneath your nose.”