It’s easy to write off today’s rappers as nothing more than self-taught entrepreneurs and moguls whose strongest skill is their ability to spit clever lines wrapped in suffocating layers of self promotion. But the current roster of hip-hop heavyweights includes a number of educated rappers who spent some time writing essays and research papers before penning radio-friendly couplets.
Though some of them attended school for just a few semesters — including the poster-child of college dropouts, Kanye West — they all prove that higher learning can play an important role in an entertainer’s path to success. Oh, and that no one, not even Yeezy himself, is immune to lugging around those dreaded textbooks.
So take a look through the slideshow below and school yourself on 14 of the most educated rappers in the game.
Before making a successful break into the music industry that included a Grammy nomination and recording deal with his idol Jay-Z, J. Cole was just a driven student studying communications at St. John’s University in Queens, New York.
The Roc Nation rapper attended the university on an academic scholarship telling the AP that he enjoyed what he learned in college but always knew rapping was his true passion.
Best known for his infectious hits like “Lollipop” and “A Milli,” it seems Lil’ Wayne appreciates higher learning just as much as his zebra print skinny jeans and Vans sneakers.
Weezy first attended the University of Houston where he studied psychology.
He told the ladies of “The View” that once taking physical classes at University of Houston began to get “out of control” due to his increasing fame, he decided to switch to the online courses offered by University of Phoenix to complete his degree
The “Like A Pimp” rapper graduated from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he majored in business.
Luda put his courses to work soon after completing school, co-founding Disturbing Tha Peace Records with his manager Chaka Zulu.
The British rapper earned her degree from London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design where she majored in fine art, video and film.
Flav studied communications and business while Chuck D, known as Carlton Ridenhour during his college years, majored in graphic design.
The two creatives would go on to make hip-hop history as members of the group Public Enemy.
Wall attended the University of Houston for three years where he was on his way to completing a communications degree. He left the university to pursue his rap career.
He stuck to his creative interests, though, attending New York University where he graduated with a degree in experimental theater.
He initially denied the allegations when they first surfaced in 2008. He eventually admitted to the role, though, telling Rolling Stone that he pursued the position after a close friend was sentenced to 10 years in prison for drug trafficking.
Ross said he simply wanted to “wash my hands” of his past offenses.
Speaking to KBXX he said the rumors of him earning a nursing degree are untrue. He admits that he went to college and had the opportunity to play football but remains mum on what specific institutions he attended.
The scholar attended the New Jersey Institute of Technology where she studied electrical engineering — a major totally opposite of her final career choice.
The rapper has gone on to win two Grammy Awards as well as launch a successful acting career. He continues to speak at colleges around the nation telling University of Minnesota students he feels it is his duty to encourage the next generation of scholars.
The writer, producer, Kardashian lover and all around humble guy — at least in his eyes — attended Chicago State University where he majored in English. West ended up leaving the school to pursue his career, a decision his mother Donda West told Time she wasn’t initially sold on reports People.
He ended up dropping out of the university to pursue a career that eventually made him one of the wealthiest hip hop artists with a net worth of $550 million according to Forbes.