Kanye West may be a college dropout, but now he also has a Ph.D.
On Monday (May 11), 'Ye was awarded an honorary doctorate from School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In his acceptance speech, he was brief -- it lasted about five minutes -- but pointed, funny and reflective. And self-assured, of course.
Things started off pretty hilariously, as Yeezy got to the podium, grabbed the handful of water bottles that were there, and walked away. Then he came back, grabbed the rest and, as the laughs from the crowd subsided, spoke for the first time.
"I'm sorry, that was just my opinion," he said.
This actually proved to be a theme for the speech: speaking your mind, apologizing, and doing it again.
"I am a pop artist, so my medium is public opinion, and the world is my canvas," he began. "'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. People say, you should not be sorry for your opinions."
Kanye is famous for giving his opinion, like the time in 2005 when he stated that "George Bush doesn't care about black people" during a national televised telethon in support of Hurricane Katrina victims.
He almost went there again during his acceptance speech today, but faked the crowd out instead.
"George Bush," he said, pausing as laughter filled the room, "has some very cool self portraits. I didn't know he was an artist."
So, nope, he wasn't gonna say sorry about that one.
Lisa Wainwright, the dean of faculty and vice president of academic administration at SAIC, read an interview that Kanye gave where he said he wished he had attended the school, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“I read it and thought, ‘Wow, this is a fantastic moment,’" she said. "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.”
And now, he kinda did. There was a moment onstage when Yeezy wasn't his supremely confident self, though.
"I felt my nerves a bit, and I don't feel that feeling a lot," he admitted. "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."
Soon, of course, it was back to classic Kanye.
"This honor is gonna make your lives easier for two reasons: You don't have to defend me as much; and I'm gonna make all of our lives easier."
That's more like it.