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Jasiri X has made a name for himself as a politically-charged and outspoken Hip-Hop artist, working both as a community activist, as well as a recording artist. The Pittsburgh rapper won $30,000 via fellowship award based on his artistic and activist endeavors.

Jasiri X’s track record as a rapper has garnered him praise since 2007, especially from within his hometown and similarly-styled rap circles. However, his selection as an Artist as Activist fellow with the New York City-based Robert Rauschenberg Foundation came as a bit of a surprise to him.

More from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

On Friday, he was lecturing at the Rock the School Bells conference in San Francisco; then on Sunday, he was in Selma, Ala., for the 50th anniversary of the historic civil rights march, at the personal request of Harry Belafonte, the entertainer and social activist.

It’s no surprise then that Jasiri X has been selected among 600 applicants as an Artist as Activist fellow by the New York City-based Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Grants totaling $400,000 were awarded to four independent artists and two artist collectives in the inaugural fellowship.

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation honors the legacy of the late painter’s life and supports artists, initiatives and institutions that, in its words, “embody the same fearlessness, innovation, and multidisciplinary approach that Rauschenberg exemplified in both his art and philanthropic endeavors.”

As the Post-Gazette notes, Jasiri runs the 1Hood Media Academy in Pittsburgh and helps train at-risk youth on how to become musicians, producers, rappers all with the draw of community activism.

The 32-year-old rapper says this is the first time he’s received national recognition in this fashion and says he was honored to receive the fellowship.

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