Nas has teamed up with Google to celebrate Black History Month with an inspiring one-minute video honoring black music legends, as well as an open letter about the power black art in America.
"I was raised to understand that every day is black history month," Nas starts the video, as images including photos Herbie Hancock, Ella Fitzgerald and Charlie Parker float across the screen.
"Music has scored my life since day one," the rapper starts his letter titled “We Continue To Rise.” "I was blessed to have love from both my parents, and it just so happens that my father’s love for music took him around the globe his own sonic excursions, both live and recorded. Pops would come back with mad loot (cash money, that is) from around the world. It was a testament to his globetrotting and a cool little nod to me that said, young blood, when you’re ready, the world is yours."
He says that he learned the importance black history through the music that his dad played for him growing up as a kid.
“It was through the blues and jazz and folk music that my father played that I learned the importance our history—our African ancestry, our struggles here as black Americans and ultimately, our great triumphs too,” he writes. “Black culture was an everyday thing in our household and in the streets that flowed through the great maze our beloved Queensbridge: the housing projects that taught me and my comrades a plethora lessons that were harsh, harrowing and humble.”
Next month, Nas will be featured in a Netflix documentary, Rapture, directed by Sacha Jenkins. Rapsody, Dave East, Logic, G-Eazy, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, 2 Chainz, T.I. and Just Blaze will also be featured in the series, which delves into the ins and outs day-to-day life as a rap star. The series will allow fans to experience “the artists’ lives with their families and friends, to sitting front row in the studio and grinding on tour, to experiencing the ecstatic power moving the crowd.”
As for Black History month, you can read the letter from Nas in full here. Take a look at the video above.