Ahki Dasan Ahanu Named Harvard Fellow
For the third time in recent years, Harvard University has selected another leader from the Triangle’s arts and academic community for the school’s hip-hop mission. On Monday, area poet Dasan Ahanu announced he had been chosen as the 2015–2016 recipient of the Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship at Harvard. The nine-month fellowship at Harvard’s Hip-Hop Archives Institute and W.E.B Du Bois Research Institute grants scholars and artists an opportunity to prepare an academic year’s worth of research for a project that contributes to “hip-hop and the discourse.”
“I’m going to be studying and analyzing lyricism in hip-hop,” says Ahanu. “I’ll be identifying lyricists and looking at what is distinct about them and their songwriting styles and the types of songs they make.”
Ahanu, or Chris Massenburg, has long been one of the Triangle’s busiest poets. Complementing an already-full schedule as a performer, writer and recording artist, he coaches the award-winning Bull City Slam Team, hosts the weekly City Soul Cafe poetry open mic in Raleigh, teaches a creative writing course at St. Augustine’s University, and unrelatedly, coaches the Blue Star Carolina Girls basketball team.