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The Education of Kanye West 

The College Dropout rethinks his stance on education in the year 2010

Wednesday, Nov 30 2005
Chicago State University

Admissions Office

9501 South King Drive

Chicago, IL 60628

August 22, 2010

Dear Sir or Madam,

My name is Kanye West. I am writing to inform you of my plans to matriculate at the illustrious Chicago State University. Again. Yes, I'm that guy. The one who talked mad shit about higher education on College Dropout and Late Registration. I understand any reluctance you may have about my application, considering I dropped out of CSU years ago to pursue my hip hop career. But that was then. This is now.

Back in the day, I was one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people. Now I'm lucky to make the "Where Are They Now?" edition of Us Weekly. Back then, I was the right person at the right time. People wanted someone with the intelligence of Common who wasn't so, well, common. A dawg who didn't need 48-karat incisors to have bite.

My first three albums were a trilogy, which was some serious next-level Led Zeppelin-and-Frodo Baggins shit for hip hop. Jaws dropped. Critics had a lip-lock on my jock. People even overlooked the fact that my flow was pedestrian, my albums had more holes than 50 Cent's chest, and my songs featured more guest spots than The Tonight Show. But eventually they got bored and I got sloppy. I was never fully embraced by the streets, and my paranoid rants ultimately chased away suburbia. I was left with nothing.

Now I'm a changed man. Ever since my fifth album (The Fifth-Year Senior) tanked earlier this year, I've had a lot of time to pray and think about my future. I want to return to college and get my diploma, and not just because the Artist Formerly Known as P, D, PD, Ph.D, Diddy, P. Diddy, Puffy, Puff Daddy, etc. won't return my calls. With your help, I can turn my life around. Enclosed you will find materials that I believe show I'm an ideal candidate for resuming studies at CSU.

Love and respect,


Attachment 1: Official Application

Last name: West. First Name: Kanye. M.I.: O.

Birth Date: June 8, 1977.

Gender: Please. Do the words "Magnum" and "in your mouth" mean anything to you?

Marital Status: Single, baby. At least as soon as my divorce from Condi Rice is finalized. I can get down with kinky shit, but that chick was a freak.

Permanent Address: I'm kinda crashing at my mom's place in Skokie right now. But it's just temporary.

Mailing Address: Technically, I don't have one. I had to fake my own death to avoid the creditors. But you can send general-delivery mail to "Eynak Tsew" at the Skokie post office. I tell people I'm a Haitian cabdriver.

Occupation: Former Next Best Thing No. 2,923,457,876. And, if anyone asks, a cabbie from Port-au-Prince.

Residency: Chi-town.

Day/Evening Phone: 867-5309. Ask for Jenny.

Citizenship: United States, unless President Jeb Bush has anything to say about it. Shit, and I thought his brother didn't care about black people.

Ethnic Origin: Say it loud ....

Military Service: "Jesus Walks" was used in Jarhead, does that count?

In Case of Emergency, Contact: Pharrell Williams. Resident of the Former Hip Hop Cameo Whore Recovery Center, Los Angeles, Calif.

Term You Are Applying for Admission: It All Falls Down. Get it? FALLs down? Brilliant.

Intended Major: Undecided. Whatever will help me get my diamond-encrusted Jesus pendant out of hock.

Attachment 2: Personal Essay

Describe a pivotal moment in your life.

First would be the Car Accident back in 2002. Who knew that getting your shit busted in three places would actually help your career? I was already a legit producer, but I was tired of Jay, Talib, and Luda getting all the props when it was my beats signing their royalty checks. I did some mix tapes, but, let's face it, I'm no Jay-Z. It wasn't until I shattered my jaw that people even noticed I could speak. Rapping with my mouth sewn shut on "Through the Wire" was a stroke of genius.

Aside from that, probably the most significant event of the past few years was when I taught a class at CSU as a "stand-in professor" back in September 2005 for some MTV show. It was supposed to be ironic, but that's when I started to realize I wouldn't be bonking rap-video vixens and drinking out of Snoop's jewel-encrusted chalice forever. It didn't help that I was touring with Fantasia from American Idol at the time.

What would you change about your life if you had known then what you know now?

Kick your shoes off and stay a while, this may take a minute. First off, I got too cocky. I stretched myself too thin. Among other things, by the spring of 2006 I was producing, touring, and promoting Late Registration, working on my third album, operating my G.O.O.D. Music record label, and launching my Pastelle Clothing line.

Make no mistake, I had style. My early albums had substance, too, but not nearly enough to keep the U.S.S. Kanye afloat forever. Sure, I had some legitimate tracks on College Dropout and Late Registration -- party joints like "Slow Jamz" and "Gold Digger," adversity anthems like "Through the Wire" and "All Falls Down," smoking social commentaries like "Jesus Walks" and "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" -- but the rest was filler, pure and simple. And it wasn't even my caulk filling most of the holes. Christ, on Late Registration alone I had cameos from Jamie Foxx, Common, Game, Consequence, Cam'ron, Nas, Really Doe, GLC, and Paul Wall. Not to mention (sigh) the dude from Maroon 5. But the fact that I was sugarcoating my own flows with the Hip Hop Yellow Pages didn't turn people off nearly as much as my conspiracy theories.

I'll admit I was a little paranoid. Shit, who wasn't in 2005? Nonetheless, I chased people off. They were fine with me saying the government didn't care about black folks. They grinned and bore it when -- on Late Registration -- I suggested that AIDS was administered by Whitey to kill Africans ("Heard 'Em Say") and that Ronald Reagan used cocaine to disband the Black Panthers ("Crack Music"). But when I started saying the Michelin Man killed Tupac and Twinkie the Kid was tapping my phones, people thought I went too far. I still see a white Hostess van tailing me sometimes, but what are you going to do? Snack cakes are bigger than the police.

Attachment 3: Letters of Recommendation

From: Shawn Carter

Occupation: CEO of the R-O-C, part-time H to the OV although I used to sell rocks by the OC, freelance P-I-M-P, full-time Sucker for Acronyms, Dawg (or SAD).

How I Know [Applicant]: 'Ye and I have been friends for almost a decade now. And let me tell ya something, it's been a hard-knock life for us. I repeat: a hard-knock life, for us. Instead of being treated, we've been tricked. Instead of kisses, we've been kicked. And nobody has been kicked harder than Kanye. Life hasn't been the same for him since that tape of him pissing on R. Kelly got out. Even VH1's Remaking: Kanye West didn't work, which is why he needs a second chance. In fact, I think CSU is his only chance.

From: Twista

Occupation: World's Fastest Rapper, the Guy Who Wasn't Jamie Foxx on "Slow Jamz."

How I Know [Applicant]: Yo, soI'veknownKanyeforawhile,youseewewerebothfromaroundthewayinChicagoandhe'smyniggamostlybecausehehelpedmycareermorethananyothermotherfucker,butnowhe'ssintroublesoI'mgonnadowhatIcantohelpabruthaout.Hewas,afterall,alwaystheretoputsomeIcyHotonmytongueafterIspitsomeblisteringrhymes.NowI'mgonnareturnthefavorbyvouchingforhisreadmissionintoChicagoStateUniversity,yaheard?

From: Jamie Foxx

Occupation: Thespian, the Guy Who Was Actually Jamie Foxx on "Slow Jamz."

How I Know [Applicant]: I am Kanye West. Or at least I play him in the upcoming made-for-TV movie Westward Expansion about Kanye's copious weight gain after he went off his New Workout Plan. But what can I say? We're both struggling these days.

After Ray and "Gold Digger," I thought we'd found the secret to crossover success. I won a second Oscar for my role in the biopic Hey, Who Turned Out the Lights?: The Stevie Wonder Story, and my cameo on Kanye's remix of Wonder's "Superstition" called "Conspiracy (Someone's Hiding in my Closet, Pts. 1-8)" hit the top of the charts. But the cracks were starting to show. Kanye's Big Brother complex was weirding people out.

After that, our careers hit the skids. I stretched the famous blind person thing a little too far when I decided to play Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker 2: Out for Blood. It bombed. Not surprising considering the core audience couldn't see or hear the movie. Nevertheless, I persuaded Kanye to let me sing on another track. We were both too focused on another payday to realize that Helen Keller singing the hook on "Set Trippin' Over Furniture" consisted mostly of me moaning incoherently.

I take partial responsibility for Kanye's demise and implore you to accept his application to CSU. His motives might not be entirely pure, but this is all he's got. I ain't saying he's a gold digger, but nowadays there ain't nobody else messing with his broke ass. Speaking of which, could you send me an application?

About The Author

Nathan Dinsdale


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