The walls of Harvard just got a whole lot more fly with that addition of one of Flavor Flav's iconic clocks to their collection.
The Public Enemy rapper paid a visit to the Ivy League university to help give a master class on the roots of hip-hop as a part of the school's "Poetry in America" series. Flav joined songwriter Sam Hollander and Professor Elisa New for, fittingly, a table read of Emily Dickinson's 1896 poem "A Clock Stopped" followed by discussion of the poet's work and how it related to the rapper's own lyrics. The talk, which appears on PBS as a companion to the Extension School course, touched on Dickinson's dark humor, rhyme scheme and the concept of "selling out," with Flav drawing parallels to his own use of symbolism and treatment of time in his own work.
“The reason why I wear this clock is because every single second that the minute hand goes around — we have to use each second to the best value,” Flav said per The Harvard Gazette. “Once we stop, it still keeps going anyway.”
Flavor Flav's manager and Harvard alum, Rhiannon Rae Ellis, extolled the rapper's intelligence, citing it as one of the reason's she approached Professor New about inviting him to the course. “Most people don’t get to see that side of him, they see the persona he is on TV," Ellis said. "He’s so happy and upbeat. It makes you want to be the best version of yourself.”
As a part of the visit, Flav also donated one of his signature clock chains to the Hip Hop Archive Research Institute with Professors Henry Louis Gates and Tommie Shelby both on hand to receive the timepiece. “It was pretty cool," Flav remarked. "Being here at Harvard is big. And for me to be able to come and donate one of my clocks to the University, I’m honored.”
Photo via Getty/Marc Stamas
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