Kanye West receiving his doctorate from SAIC

Welcome to Graduation!

Kanye West is receiving his honorary doctorate from SAIC today — that’s why he was in town yesterday while performing “All Day” at the Bulls game — and the Art Institute is live streaming the commencement ceremony now. Watch here.

Salutations, Ye!

UPDATE: Stream over. Watch Kanye’s 6 minute speech accepting his honorary doctorate below. Dr. Kanye West.

Complex transcribed and acquired audio of Kanye West’s hour-long lecture at SAIC yesterday and it features a lot of gems as you could imagine. Listen below:

Question: 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.


KW: 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 fucked up out here.



“Kanye West 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. He is 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.”