This past Monday(May 10), Kanye West lectured at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago but that’s not all. Earlier today(May 11) the Institute awarded the infamous college dropout an honorary doctorate, as well.
During his lecture, which lasted an hour, students were able to ask the artist a variety of questions. Most were surrounding his creative process, all except for one student.
STUDENT:“I’m from the West Side of Chicago—this is gonna get a little emotional—I’ve lost two of my friends to violence. They got shot and killed. I made all the right decisions—never did drugs, never did anything, but… I’m scared. I’m scared I’m next. My family and I we live on a corner street, and we’re scared for bullets to come through the window and hit my sister, but like… I’m the last hope. I’m the first one to ever make it, and I’m so hungry, and I need something now. Just hoping you give some guidance, to all of us… We need something to keep on in this city… because I don’t know if somebody else is gonna end my life or… if I’ll never get out.”
KANYE WEST: “I’m speechless. I don’t have the answer to that. I can only just listen to you and feel and understand what we’re dealing with here. And I can’t say that anything that I do or say will be the end-all be-all difference. I mean, we could just try. Yeah, I’m not even gonna try to give any politically correct answer that makes it seem like, after I say it, it’s all good—‘cause it’s not all good; it’s f****d up out here.”
West seemed to get personal with his responses and students loved it. He revealed what inspires him and how he surrounds himself with it. He even disclosed that there is a room in his house filled only with vintage samples and a bathroom covered in footwear samples.
Kanye attended both The American Academy of Art and Chicago State University, for short periods of time. He dropped out at the age of 20 and then came his album The College Dropout. The rest as we know is history.
The dean of faculty and vice president of academic administration at SAIC, Lisa Wainwright, mentioned feeling “compelled” to giving West an honorary degree after hearing how he wish he attended the school.
“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.”
Just like that Kanye was given the opportunity to put on a cap and gown and attend SAIC’s commencement. Now we can officially call him Dr. Kanye West.