Kanye West can officially put his college dropout days behind him.
On Monday morning, the rapper received an honorary doctorate degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. According to the Institute, Ye received the honor because he “is a leader in the music industry as a Grammy Award-winning recording artist and producer, as well as a fashion designer and interdisciplinary artist whose work provokes cultural discourse by reflecting a realism of the street.”
Per SAIC, the rapper is also “an advocate for education and a thinker and maker who often uses his work—his lyrics, videos, performances, and fashion designs—to deconstruct stereotypes and spur cultural discourse on important social issues. West’s work, like much of hip-hop, is meant to startle us out of our complacency, and this is the role of art.”
Yeezy delivered a seemingly charming acceptance speech and explained that he is “a pop artist so my medium is public opinion, and the world is my canvas.” “I’m sorry is something that you can use a lot,” he said. “It gives you the opportunity to give your opinion, apologize for it and give your opinion again.”
The Chicago native continued, “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. This honor is going to make your lives easier. Two reasons, you don’t have to defend me as much. And I’m going to make all of our lives easier.”
Ye added, “And it’s these Floyd Mayweather belts that are needed to prove what I’ve been saying my entire life. Whether it’s to cosign of Paul McCartney grabbing me and saying ‘it’s ok he doesn’t bite white people’ or the New York Times Cover or the Times Most Influential cover and now a doctorate at the Art Institute of Chicago”
The 37-year-old concluded, “When I was giving a lecture at Oxford,” he explained, “I brought up this school because when I went on that mission to create in other spaces—apparel, film, performance—it would have been easier if I could have said I had a degree at the Art Institute of Chicago.”
West, whose first album was titled The College Dropout, attended the American Academy of Art and Chicago State University before leaving to pursue his music career. Ye’s late mother, Donda, was a professor at the University.
Kim Kardashian took to Instagram to congratulate her husband on the honor, writing:
“Dr. Kanye West!!!!!!! I’m so proud of you baby & I know your mom would be so proud too!!!!”