July 16, 2013, - 5:50 pm

Harvard Establishes Hip-Hop Fellowship in Name of 8th-Grade Dropout Rapper Muslim: PhD in Rachel Jeantelology?

By Debbie Schlussel

I’m never impressed when I hear someone went to Harvard. It means they went to a school rife with grade inflation, where students caught in a giant cheating scandal were merely given a semester off as “punishment” instead of being expelled, as they should have been. And in survey after survey of American colleges and universities, Harvard students are as dumb and ignorant of basic facts in American history and government as everyone else. Now, there is more reason to sneer at the university that has a vastly overrated reputation as the pinnacle of academic excellence: Harvard just established a hip-hip fellowship in the name of rapper Nas a/k/a Nasir Jones, an eigth-grade dropout, who is Muslim.


No word on what the Harvard Fellow studying hip-hop will find out, other than that his/her fellowship is a complete joke on America and academia. But maybe he/she can get a Ph.D. in how to speak and read and write cursive like Rachel Jeantel. Harvard says the person will be a scholar in the rich hip-hop tradition, whatever that means. Maybe someone can write a thesis paper on “The Multiple Meanings of the Ass Slap of Mrs. Jay-Z (Beyonce) During a Concert in Europe – You Know Datz Right.” Can you major in “You Be Illin’–The Complexities and Hidden Meaning of Run DMC’s Dropped ‘G'”? Yes, Jay-Z’s producer was a lecturer at Harvard for a year. Uh-huh. More:

The W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University and the Hip-Hop Archive announced the Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship on Tuesday. The goal of the fellowship is to provide chosen scholars and artists with an opportunity to show that “education is real power.”

The mission of the Hip-Hop Archive, according to the announcement, is to seek projects from scholars and artists that build on the rich and complex hip-hop tradition; to respect that tradition through historically grounded and contextualized critical insights; and most important, to represent one’s creative and/or intellectually rigorous contribution to hip-hop and the discourse through personal and academic projects.

Rapper and producer 9th Wonder (Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige) chronicled his year of lecturing and research as a fellow of the Hip-Hop Archive at Harvard for the upcoming documentary “The Harvard Fellow.” For his project, 9th Wonder researched the records that created his top 10 produced albums, including Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic,” Jay-Z’s “Reasonable Doubt” and “The Blueprint,” a Tribe Called Quest’s “Midnight Marauders” and, yes, Nas’ “Illmatic.” Those records would go on to be cataloged and archived in the permanent collection at Harvard.

When is the Harvard Fellowship in “Strange Men’s Bathroom Noises Overheard at the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport” coming?

Here are some scintillating lyrics from 39-year-old Harvard Fellowship namesake Nas’ “I Gave You Power” (one of his hits):

Damn, look how muh-f*ckers use a n*gga
Just use me for whatever the f*ck they want
I don’t get to say shit
Just grab me, just do what the f*ck they want
Sell me, throw me away
Niggas just don’t give a fuck about a n*gga like me right
Like I’m a f-, I’m a gun, shit
It’s like I’m a motherf*cking gun
I can’t believe this shit
Word up, word up . . . .

Always I’m in some sh*t
My abdomen is the clip, the barrel is my d*ck uncircumcised
Pull my skin back and cock me
I bust off when they unlock me
Results of what happens to n*ggas shock me
I see niggas bleeding running from me in fear, stunningly tears
Fall down the eyes of these so-called tough guys, for years
I’ve been used in robberies, giving n*ggas heart to follow me
Placing peoples in graves, funerals made cause I was sprayed
I was laid in a shelf, with a grenade

Harvard needs to change its slogan from “Veritas” (Truth) to “Very Dumb.”

Cue the Sam Cooke. This should be the theme song for every college and university in America, sadly . . . .

Sam Cooke was wrong. The world–America, at least–is not wonderful when it’s filled with dummies.

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51 Responses

Wanna lose all respect for the esteemed Harvard?


I know Catherine. She has the cred, the been there done that and lived through being hunted for outing the way money works at HUD. You’re an idiot if you don’t believe her report.

Jack on July 16, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    I see that the most villainous ex-president of the University of Chicago–Horrible Hannah Gray–is a Harvard board member. Time was when this would be unthinkable. She instituted a secret plan of racial quotas at the U of C during a time when it officially rejected taking into account race. That was the beginning of the end.

    Jack, beyond this observation, I do not see what the linked information is supposed to tell us. What’s your point?

    skzion on July 16, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      Simple – follow the money. Harvard is basically another PR Masterpiece in hiding the fact they are a nothing more than a Crime Family. If, we define crime family as an organized gang which breaks the law, destroys its enemies, enriches the players at the top, does very bad things to people for profit and exists to take rather than give.

      Jack on July 17, 2013 at 12:32 am

My favourite all-time DS-ism is her “Dar al-Harb(vard)” slang for Harvard University. Just wanted to point that out ‘cuz it’s my fav. 😀

Harvard or Harvard Square is indeed NOTHING to be impressed about. If I were down there this evo, being all hot & humid as it is, it would smell like Hobo BO & rancid ketchup. No lie. That’s the aroma of Harvard Square on a hot, summers night. Who’s impressed???

As I like to say, the “Black Community” is boring, off-putting, low-class and too conformist for me. It sucks. I’d rather listen to Tuvan Throat Signing (which I do enjoy, BTW) than crappy rap.

Luckily I LOVE 70s music. A time when Black Americans didn’t just fall into the love of one, lumpy, yucky type of music…RAP. A time where the diversity was diverse, the ideas were new and never-ending and the talent above the stars.

Go listen to the best of Tavares is you doubt me. I miss those days (even thou’ I was in single digits) and I hate the uber conformity and crap style (across the board) of the current “Black Community” “thang”. I’d rather listen to Zydeco (and I am NOT putting down Zydeco…it’s is one of my all-time favourite types of music!!! EVER!)

Skunky on July 16, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Skunky, I think you are in need. Worry suggests the exotic, but I say start small, focusing on the conductor and standard repertoire. With that in mind, I have supplied a link. Let me know if you want others.


    skzion on July 16, 2013 at 7:48 pm

      LOL Skzion, ANYTHING is better than Rap! Anything! 😛

      Skunky on July 16, 2013 at 8:34 pm

        Well that’s true, Skunky. I can’t endure the stuff either.

        Many important jazz and rock/pop icons actually knew something about music. Charlie Parker apparently asked his mom to check out Pierre Lunaire (Schoenberg) from the library, with great excitement. The rappers are just ignoramuses.

        skzion on July 16, 2013 at 9:16 pm

          skzion, you cannot compare such legendary jazz musicians as Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Oscar Petersen, and so on with rappers. They are worlds apart, regardless of the comparative dimension you want to consider–breadth of knowledge, versatility, imagination, technical precision, virtuosity, or whatever.

          For your listening (and viewing) pleasure, for example, check out the great Canadian jazz pianist, Oscar Peterson, performing a jazz improvisation based on music themes written by J.S. Bach in this video:


          Ralph Adamo on July 16, 2013 at 10:31 pm

        I was serious, though, in my suggestion. If you want something more violent, Shostakovich is worth checking out. I suggest Mravinsky cond, on the Erato label (better sound).

        skzion on July 16, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Debbie, even I was a bit shocked at Harvard’s level of degradation. I mean, it was never really *about* intellectualism. Its undergraduate college started as a finishing school for upper class men; now the “finishing” involves da hood.

skzion on July 16, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Ben Shapiro graduated from Harvard.

LJRS: And that should tell you everything you need to know about him. Arrogant, not nearly as smart as he thinks he is (or as you obviously believe he is), and part of the Breitfraud machine that prints BS, never fact-checks, and filled with know-it-all frauds like another Harvard grad, Joel Pollak, who “runs” those crappy sites and “reports” as “fact” that Nelson Mandela is a great man who loves Israel (when, in reality, he’s a racist schmuck who has repeatedly, openly come out in favor of Palestinian terrorists and is very anti-Israel). DS

LiberalJooozRStupid on July 16, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Harvard LAW, I believe.

    skzion on July 16, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Weiner looking good to go for New York so get set for some fun.

    knowitall on July 17, 2013 at 1:23 pm

All points in this article are well taken, except I think the Sam Cooke song, Wonderful World, is being taken out of context, and it still wouldn’t make a good theme song for colleges today. The song, by the way, was cowritten by the equally legendary music biz talents, Lou Adler and Herb Alpert. While I understand the point that so-called educated people today “don’t no much about history,” etc., as the song describes, the song is still essentially, a love song, and that if you have not much else, that’s still a good start. So, although I agree that many of today’s college grads are dumb, it’s far from clear that they know much about love either, unlike, at least, the singer of this song. Moreover, the real message of the song is that Cooke is telling us that even though he “don’t know much now,” he HOPES to learn things so that he can WIN the love of the woman he seeks:

Now, I don’t claim to be an A student
But I’m trying to be
For maybe by being an A student, baby
I can win your love for me

And while on the topic of a “Wonderful World,” here’s a video with an introduction of the great Louis Armstrong’s take on what a wonderful world this COULD be. Louis Armstrong, Debbie might be interested to know, always wore a Star of David pendant in honor of the Karnofsky family that helped raise him and gave him the money to buy his first cornet.


Ralph Adamo on July 16, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Sam Cooke was actually pretty militant. He was an admirer of Malcolm X, and his last song, in 1965 was entitled “A Change is Gonna Come.” He also recorded the infamous Communist-originated song “If I Had a Hammer”, and added an improvised line about “hootnannys”, the Communist-inspired groups of people sitting around singing Communist Front folksongs.

Little Al on July 16, 2013 at 9:50 pm

And I don’t want to take anything away from Charlie Parker. He was one of the great artists of the 20th Century, and I agree with the comments made about him in this post.

Jazz musicians have always had a reputation of being pretty far to the left, but I’m not sure it is realized just how far to the left some of them were. We sometimes tend to think of this in humerous terms, such as Dizzy Gillespie’s mock run for President in 1960.

But Charlie Parker was certainly pretty far to the left as well. As an example, he participated in a rally for Communist leader Ben Davis as late as 1952. By that time, no one was supporting Communists unless they were awfully far to the left.

I am certainly aware of how jazz musicians of that era were exploited and degraded, but Communism certainly was not the answer to this. At the time that Parker participated in the Davis rally, for instance, the NAACP had just expelled the Communists from that organization. It’s too bad they departed from those traditions.

Little Al on July 16, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    BTW, since this post is about Harvard, Benjamin Davis, the Communist rabble-rouser of the 30s and 40s was also one of the more distinguished graduates of Harvard Law School.

    Little Al on July 17, 2013 at 4:46 am

    Little, Al–I did not know about Charlie Parker’s political leanings. That’s interesting to know, and I’ll take your word on it, as you are the resident expert on that subject. As an avid music fan of many genres of music, I usually like to read about the lives of the musicians whose music I greatly appreciate. But when I learned that Parker was seriously into dope, he let me down on that level, and I didn’t care to read more. I’ve similarly felt that way about pianist Bill Evans, another awesome musical talent. Such a waste, and a life shortener.

    But as the great conductor Arturo Toscanini once said when asked about the great composer Richard Strauss, who for various reasons remained in Germany and became associated with the Nazis, “To the the musician, Richard Strauss, I tip my hat; to the man, I put it back on.”

    Speaking of rap, I reminded of something the great drummer Buddy Rich said when he was admitted to a hospital and was asked if he were allergic to anything. Buddy responded, “Yes, country music.” Well, I don’t feel quit the strongly about country music as Buddy did, but I do think I’m allergic to rap music.

    Ralph Adamo on July 17, 2013 at 8:50 pm

For real music, try the beguiling string quintets of Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805); especially recommended are the recordings by La Magnifica Comunita (inexpensive but wonderful CDs on the Brilliant Classics label), and those – even better, in some instances – by Europa Galante (CD, Virgin Veritas 7243 5 45421 2 1)- hopefully still in print.
In contrast to the sublime music of Boccherini, I listened a couple of weeks ago, on You Tube, to Yeezus, the latest offering from Kanye West. Vile, depraved, and mindless, and all been done before by countless vulgarian ghetto illiterates, many of whom have made large fortunes from peddling aural sewage glorifying exploitational sex, pointless violence, and greed. Hip hop is repellent, and revels in its own depravity.

commonsense on July 16, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    “Vile, depraved, and mindless, and all been done before by countless vulgarian ghetto illiterates, many of whom have made large fortunes from peddling aural sewage glorifying exploitational sex, pointless violence, and greed.”

    Commensense, although I am a lifelong Hip-Hop fan, I have to give you much credit for your “creative” use of language…I love it!

    I’m also a fan of Classical as a result of the piano lessons my Mom made my sisters and I take as a kid (for which now I am now forever grateful to her!). I first became familiar with Luigi Boccherini as a result of the “Master and Commander” soundtrack and you’re right…it is some great music!

    DTrain on July 17, 2013 at 10:59 am

My parents dropped a hundred G’s
So I could be all Ivy league
But Instead of econ, law, or poli sci
All I can rememba is that rappin’ Muslim guy.

Lars on July 16, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Further signs as if any were needed, along with the box office success of Grown Ups 2 this last weekend, that America is going down the toilet. That reminds me, maybe start an Adam Sandler comedy fellowship at Harvard? Why not, it would certainly be appropriate.

Larry in Tel Aviv on July 17, 2013 at 4:59 am

Skunky, Debbie’s invention – dar-al-Harb(vard) was just priceless! 🙂

Infidel on July 17, 2013 at 5:45 am

You go to Harvard to rub elbows with other rich folks, not to learn anything.

burt on July 17, 2013 at 8:36 am

So much for “Higher education.”

Victoryman on July 17, 2013 at 8:40 am

I hope none of the female professors at Harvard get the Vapors over your column.

Little Al on July 17, 2013 at 9:14 am

I think aliens abducted me and took me to an exo-planet while I was sleeping. Harvard, sad.

Pray Hard on July 17, 2013 at 9:57 am

2013 Ramadan Bombathon scorecard, Day 9:
73 terror attacks by Muslims.
353 dead bodies.
Terror attacks and dead bodies by all other religions and Islamophobes: Zero.

Pray Hard on July 17, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Pray Hard: “2013 Ramadan Bombathon scorecard”


    DS_ROCKS! on July 17, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Well, in the bad old days of Rome as everybody probably knows gladiators who generally came from the lowest social strata occasionally serviced the patrician ladies of nobility.
In this case Harvard gets serviced by Nas.

In the words of Nas, “It’s like I’m a motherf*cking gun”.
Yes, exactly. That’s exactly right.
Gee, I can see why Harvard is impressed.
In the minds of predominantly white adolescents who ultimately finance your “gangster” lifestyle in the search for some ghetto authenticity that’s all you really amount to. That’s all Nas will ever amount to. Phony or not.

Gladiators I salute you.

At least I would salute you if you didn’t wear chains around your neck freely and proudly like the surly stupid angry white man’s slave you still pretend to be.
You might get help from Harvard but you’ll get none from me.

wannabe on July 17, 2013 at 11:07 am

they need a side course in ebonics in order to under stand hip hop sub standard English.

BRUCE on July 17, 2013 at 11:40 am

When everybody is just as bad you know it won’t be long before it’s all bad.
Ground Zero Mosque… It’s the Final count down… 😉

knowitall on July 17, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Harvard naming an academic chair in honor of this guy to its faculty is an another example of guilt-ridden whites obsequiously fawning over black hip-hop thugs. It reminds me of a hilarious early-80s skit on “Saturday Night Live” when Eddie Murphy was part of the regular cast. Murphy played the part of an angry black artist whose work was displayed in a gallery to the “oooohs” and “aaaahs” of the observers. Maybe someone else remembers that one.

Seek on July 17, 2013 at 1:55 pm

unrelated except that it’s also kind of funny

“the jews are magical and evil like unicorns…”


knowitall on July 17, 2013 at 2:32 pm

I am truly dismayed at Harvard’s sexism. Don’t they know that “Fellowship” is a sexist term? Where are the courageous ladies of the faculty that called ex-President Summers to order?

Little Al on July 17, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Harvard’s admission policy is a joke. Somewhere between 15-20% are taken because they are truly gifted. (And I do know some truly gifted folks who got in.) Many others get in because of ‘legacy’ status (ie family went there). Sports de jour and ‘leadership’ (as they wish to define it) are major factors in others being admitted. And of course there are representatives of victimization, downtrodden, yada yada. No I never tried to get in. But I know of people who have been connected at some point to the decision makers. And yes, the place does suffer from grade inflation, I hear.

Not Ovenready on July 17, 2013 at 5:59 pm

What I fail to fathom; why is America determined to demean it self by kissing the ass of trash. I would appreciate if you enlighten me on the subject. Did we go crazy??? Did we go insane???? I don’t know

G. R. Scharoubim on July 17, 2013 at 8:50 pm


I don’t think Nas is a model citizen or that this necessarily makes tons of sense, but I think I could do a decent job of explaining to you…

…which I would do if you hadn’t felt the need to mention he was a Muslim in the title. This is just silly sensationalism, and you torpedo any hope of a real discussion about it by calling out the entirely irrelevant fact of his religious beliefs right in the title.

By the way, just to clear things up, I’m about as white as they come, so you’re totally allowed to listen to me about this. I never listened to hiphop growing up, dressed hiphop, or did anything hiphop. I listened to REM and Tom Petty. I actually never listened to hiphop because I thought all the violent lyrics were stupid.

So yea. You’re just another attention seeking talking head…except that you’re not a talking head. You’re a typing head. With a paypal donation link in the most prominent spot on your site.

Sorry to hear things have not gone well for you.


Dave on July 19, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Hey, also, Nas was an 8th grade dropout who wound up making millions and millions of dollars in the music industry. Isn’t that kind of the American Dream a little bit?

I suppose you could call him out for the types of lyrics he writes. Some of them are pretty profane. It’s almost like he’s using that imagery to inspire controversy and get publicity.

Not that you’d ever do something like say…mentioning someone was muslim even though its completely irrelevant in context just to play to the most base, xenophobic, racist tendencies of your audience.

People who dropped out in the 8th grade at least have that as an excuse, what’s your’s? Aren’t you supposed to be educated an intelligent? Someone we’re supposed to listen to about politics?


Dave on July 19, 2013 at 2:20 pm

They are imitating the RIBA =Royal Institute of British Architecture, in London, creating an architecture prize in honour of gangbanger Stephen Lawrence, who was killed in a street fight. His mother apparently said he wanted to be an architect. (…) They crop the photo of him doing a black power salute and the dhimmis have done this with no concrete proof he even turned up for school.

Cassandra on July 19, 2013 at 8:32 pm

My aunt worked 30 years @ Harvard (from sec’y to a Dir. of Housing)and it was SHE that used to tell us how overrated Harvard was. My brother was accepted to law school there and on her recommendation, chose to go to U. of Chicago instead.

Shecky on February 25, 2014 at 10:15 am

While I completely agree with the sentiment that Harvard has undeniably become a joke in top-tier education, and while erecting a Fellowship in the name of a rapper is questionable at best, I feel the author demonstrates a horrendously pathetic mediation of the matter. Yes, constructing a fellowship in the name of a controversial musician rather than someone more socially acceptable, per se, may not be a wise decision nor the right decision. Still, your self-serving, selective cherry-picking of one of Nas’ less-graceful lyrical endeavors is a travesty to his contribution to the genre and to music as a whole. Look at Illmatic, It Was Written, etc. Even the lyrics you provided, though not anywhere comparable to his proven level of lyricism, present at least a somewhat engaging illustration of Nas’ perceived cultural subjugation at the hands of those who claim to be superior. And the blip at the beginning labeling Nas as someone “who is Muslim” was what – a slithery suggestion that he is less credible or… more dangerous? Why else would you have mentioned his religion, without specifying – as is necessary – that he is a Five-Percenter, a very restricted sect of Islam extremely different from the mainstream. Or did you not know? Honestly, as for the proposition that the fellowship is poor choice for Harvard, it’s arguable, but I mostly agree. More honestly, though, your framing of the issue presents an image of you as an egregiously ignorant, culturally intolerant scrub.

Disappointing, and again, pathetic.

Drake on April 27, 2014 at 7:58 pm

What the fuck does him being Muslim have to do with it ? You’re probably a Harvard reject and now you’re hating on the school. Well honey I’m sorry they rejected you, but aren’t you a too old to still be worried about it? I’m guessing you’re also a racist bigot by the looks of it. Wait…was the kid who got into Harvard instead of you black ? I highly doubt you would be worrying about this if the guy was a christian white rapper.

Maxa on September 28, 2014 at 12:24 am

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