KRS-One Bringing Nas To NASA With Hip-Hop Science Conference

Educational event planned as part of annual Hip-Hop Appreciation Week.

Hip-hop has grown from the streets of New York into a worldwide

phenomenon. Now one of its all-time greats, KRS-One, wants to take the

culture into the cosmos.

As part of his Temple of Hiphop's seventh annual Hip-Hop Appreciation

Week, KRS-One is organizing a Hip-Hop Cultural Conference to be

delivered at NASA's headquarters in Washington, D.C., on May 19.

The game plan is to bring in 100 students from the D.C. area —

possibly ranging from elementary- to college-age — to hear

members of the hip-hop community, social activists, spiritual leaders

and NASA scientists promote the powers of math and science.

"Nas is the keynote speaker," KRS said on Monday en route to a lecture

at the University of Illinois. "Chuck D will flank him. Afrika

Bambaataa is supposed to come as well."

The Temple of Hiphop's full lineup of participants is still being

finalized, and a spokesperson for NASA was unavailable for comment.

"It's a two-way marriage attracting more inner-city kids to the space

program," The Teacha said, expounding on the conference's agenda to

raise students' self-esteem and awareness. "I've had scientists tell me

NASA is not doing enough to attract the inner-city mind. Math and

science students are getting dissed [in school]. We want to make sure

kids with science minds are given sustenance. We want to show them that

they can have a career in science, math, engineering, physics and space

exploration. We want to raise children's interest. Why not get in on

the ground level right now?"

While KRS is also hoping to talk to NASA officials about including the

hip-hop community in the space program, the Blast Master isn't

considering pulling a Lance Bass and training to be an astronaut. Among

the initiatives he hopes NASA will consider is including hip-hop

memorabilia, such as albums, in space capsules.

Here on Earth, KRS continues to press on with a bevy of projects. He's

in talks with the University of Illinois about starting a program that

will advise professors on how to instruct a course that would teach

students the ins and outs of hip-hop culture. The Bronx's king of

battle raps also just finished his 13th LP, Get Right. The album

is scheduled for release in July and will include a DVD.

Hip-Hop Appreciation Week is scheduled for May 16-23 and commences with

a concert at D.C.'s 9:30 Club that will be headlined by KRS and fellow

mic legend Big Daddy Kane. For more information on the activities,