According to the press release, the fellowship will help fund future exceptional Hip Hop artists:
The Fellowship will provide selected scholars and artists with an opportunity to show that “education is real power,” as it builds upon the achievements of those who demonstrate exceptional capacity for productive scholarship and exceptional creative ability in the arts, in connection with hip-hop.
Nas’ penchant for social commentary and intellectual analysis has ”helped usher in an original form of hip-hop debate and analysis that reflects on and represents urban youth angst and conflict as well as intelligence, confidence and ambition” according to the press release.
The recipients of the fellowship will be selected by members of Harvard University.
Recently, Harvard University has begun honoring Hip Hop and Nas has been integral in that prior to the fellowship’s beginning. In 2012, highly acclaimed Hip Hop producer 9th Wonder became a Harvard Fellow and engaged in an academic project called “These Are The Breaks” where he tracked down all the original samples from a few classic Hip Hop albums to archive them permanently in the Harvard Library. One of those albums was Illmatic.