Nas Speaks On The Importance Of Black History In EVERY Month (Video)
Just last week, PBS aired an incredible performance with Nas and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The televised special saw the Queensbridge native rap the entirety of his debut, Illmatic – an LP that has been archived as a part of a project at Harvard University to preserve culturally significant Hip-Hop albums in history. Illmatic is also an album that was, at the time, written by a 16-year-old, and has been considered a classic experience not just in Hip-Hop regard, but music as a whole. The Columbia/Sony Records release asserted Nas’ dominance as an artist and influencer, who would go on to win such prestigious awards as New York City’s Spotlight Award, and BET’s “I Am Hip Hop Award,” to name a few.
Nas is a prime example of Black Excellence, and Google’s Arts & Culture outlet acknowledges this by giving the MC a platform to pen a letter on Black media, music and pop culture, as well as deliver a short video on why Black History Month should be celebrated every day.
“I was raised to understand that every month was Black History Month,” Nas states in the video. “That every day, my ancestors, contemporaries, and dreamers like myself, can, shall, and continue to make history. I would realize, through the education I received from my parents and my own travels, that Robert Johnson, Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Slick Rick were one and the same. Native storytellers who shined a light on our purpose, preserved our legacy, and without question, rocked the house.”
Nas’ entire letter can be read over at Google’s “Arts & Culture” website, in which the rapper discusses his earliest relationship with music, toying around with the instruments found in his family home and how much Queensbridge helped shape and influence his sound. In addition to Nas’ letter, biographies and more information on important Black entertainers like Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and Billie Holiday.
And to all of those celebrating Black History Month, remember these words by the great Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones: “We are here, from the beginning, forever, we continue to rise.“