Rapper Nas has launched the “Paid in Full Foundation” to provide financial and healthcare support to pioneers of Hip Hop

This year marks the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, a genre that has significantly influenced cultural landscapes and produced billionaires. Despite the celebrations and reflections surrounding this milestone, it becomes apparent that the financial success witnessed by later generations of hip-hop artists has yet to reach the pioneers and architects of the genre.

Renowned rapper Nasir “Nas” Jones, a pivotal figure in the commemorative activities, has taken an active approach by launching the Paid In Full Foundation. This foundation aims to address the financial disparities faced by the forefathers and mothers of hip-hop, recognizing their monumental contributions to arts and culture. Nas, along with collaborators Steve Stoute, Ben Horowitz, and Felicia Horowitz, has introduced the first annual Grandmaster Awards—a groundbreaking initiative to honor those who have shaped the culture but have not received their due financial rewards.

In a statement on the foundation’s website, Nas and his partners express their commitment to rectifying the lack of recognition for impactful original artists. The foundation plans to achieve this through its grantmaking program, providing substantial financial support and resources to these creators, enabling them to pursue their creative and intellectual endeavors for the benefit of society.

The Grandmaster Awards, scheduled to take place in Las Vegas on November 17th, will be a significant event. The inaugural recipients of this prestigious award are “the God MC” Rakim and Houston’s Scarface—iconic artists who defined movements during their era. The award’s importance lies not only in its acknowledgment but also in the tangible support that comes with it. Both Rakim and Scarface will receive grants from the Paid In Full Foundation.

In a Rap Radar podcast interview, Steve Stoute emphasized the foundation’s mission to honor those who laid the foundation for hip-hop. He outlined how the Paid In Full fund aims to provide significant financial assistance and healthcare to individuals who contributed to hip-hop but still lack recognition.

This initiative gains significance at a time when the hip-hop community has faced notable losses, with influential figures like Prodigy, Phife Dawg, and Biz Markie passing away due to health-related issues. The Paid In Full Foundation seeks to address this issue, offering a solution and paying homage to those who have shaped the hip-hop landscape.

As the first annual Grandmaster Awards approach, the hip-hop community anticipates not only a celebration of its rich history but also a crucial step toward securing a more equitable future for its pioneers. Nas’ Paid In Full Foundation, with its focus on financial support and recognition, stands as a testament to the commitment to ensuring that the architects of hip-hop receive the acknowledgment and resources they rightfully deserve.