“I know I can/ Be what I wanna be/ If I work hard at it/ I'll be where I wanna be,” begins rapper Nas’s empowering hit track “I Can,” off his classic 2002 album, God’s Son.
Over 15 years later, Nas and his new children's’ brand, MAJR, are turning the song and its message into a children’s book!
Backed by Black children, who sing along with Nas on its hook, the song has a message for young people of self-determination and rejecting destructive peer and media pressure, as well as a powerful appeal to the importance of Black history and education:
“Before we came to this country/ We were kings and queens, never porch monkeys/ There was empires in Africa called Kush/ Timbuktu, where every race came to get books/ to learn from Black teachers,” the third verse begins. “Read more, learn more, change the globe,” it continues.
Though details about the book’s contents are still sparse, according to MAJR’s website, their mission is “to inspire future generations through the creation of unique toys, apparel, and innovative learning tools.”
Major props to Nas for using his platform to inspire and educate young people about their history, power, and self-worth! Look out for the book at your local Black bookstore!