C. Keith Harrison

C. Keith Harrison

Associate Unit Head and Chief Academic Officer, University of Central Florida
Fall 2020: Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellow
C Keith Harrison

C. Keith Harrison is Professor of Business, Hip Hop, and Sport at the University of Central Florida as well as Associate Unit Head/Chief Academic Officer of the DeVos Sport Business Management Graduate Program in the College of Business and founding director (2006-2014) of The Minor That’s Major™ Sport Business Management Undergraduate Program. Harrison has published numerous peer-review articles, academic book chapters, and has co-edited two books with one on sport data analytics and another on education, Hip Hop culture and sport. He is Senior-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Higher Education Athletics & Innovation. He is the president and co-founder of scholarballer.org and researcher for the NFL’s good business diversity and inclusion series. Harrison has also consulted for over two decades with several universities, corporate brands, and professional sport organizations.

Carry on Tradition: From Nas to Nipsey the Business Education, Innovation and Entrepreneurial Hustle

Carry on Tradition: From Nas to Nipsey the Business Education, Innovation and Entrepreneurial Hustle examines the parallels in Hip-Hop culture between Nasir Jones and Nipsey Hussle (and other hip-hop artists). It explores the theoretical and practical implications that their music and lifestyles have made in the advancement of business, entrepreneurship, and hip-hop culture. The project includes the development of content for a future hybrid (mixed-mode) online course entitled: “Making It”: From NAS to Nipsey Hussle-The Education and Business of Hip-Hop Culture” as well as a visual art exhibit that emphasizes conceptual art pieces with themes of hip-hop innovation by various artists.

Academic journals have overlooked the business practices of successful Hip-Hop entrepreneurs and innovators. There is a niche set of experiences that exist amongst hip-hop moguls as some of these artists have not been formally educated but have innovative skills that mirror entrepreneurial practices. Whereas professional business skills were developed in the classroom, hip-hop entrepreneurship is about the hustle, the struggle, and the culture. Analyzing the lyrics in hip-hop reveals the parallels that exist between “street hustlers” and corporate workers. The lived experiences of hip-hop moguls, whether it be in their music careers or other business ventures, provide a framework to investigate how entrepreneurial work ethic can be built with or without a formal education. The online course centered on NAS to Nipsey traces the identities of NAS and Nipsey from early childhood to the urban communities they grew up in to their progressions as artists, entrepreneurs, philanthropic pursuit. Finally, the exhibit will feature findings from the lyrics and interviews in the form of posters with narratives and quotes from the songs related to innovation and entrepreneurship.