Kanye West Receives Honorary Doctorate From School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Kanye West is so many things: He's a world-famous rapper, a self-proclaimed genius, a husband and father, a doctor. That last one follows an honorary doctorate he received from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and this is the part where we ultimately decided against inserting an overwrought pun involving Kanye's College Dropout album.
Kanye was awarded the honorary doctorate after Lisa Wainwright, the dean of faculty and vice president of academic administration at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, read an interview where he called out the school by name. She said (quote via the Chicago Tribune), "I read it and thought, 'Wow this is a fantastic moment.' Here is this major figure in the cultural landscape promoting art school, this guy from Chicago saying art school is cool. So we thought, 'This man deserves an honorary doctorate from us!' He should have gone here."
In his speech, Kanye admitted to feeling nervous, an adjective not typically applied to the "Stronger" rapper. He said, "I felt my nerves a bit, and I don’t feel that feeling a lot -- the nerves of humility and modesty when being honored. A humanization, a reality of being recognized. And all I thought as I sit here, kind of shaking a little bit, is I need to get rid of that feeling. I need to not be nervous."
He even managed to poke fun at himself when he said, "'I'm sorry' is something that you can use a lot. It gives you the opportunity to give your opinion, apologize for it, and give your opinion again. George Bush..." And then there was an extended pause before Kanye continued, "...has some very cool self-portraits. I didn't know he was an artist."
Kanye went on to balance out his speech by reflecting on why the honorary doctorate meant so much to him. He said, "...it’s these Floyd Mayweather belts that are needed to prove what I’ve been saying my entire life. Whether it’s the co-sign of Paul McCartney grabbing me and saying, 'It’s okay, he doesn’t bite white people,' or the New York Times cover, TIME most influential cover. And now a doctorate at the Art Institute of Chicago."
Kim Kardashian, always the supportive partner, posted a rare photo of Kanye smiling in his cap and gown to Instagram with the caption, "Dr. Kanye West!!!!!!! I'm so proud of you baby & I know your mom would be so proud too!!!!"
You can listen to Kanye's full speech above.
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