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Hear Kanye West’s Commencement Address After Receiving Honorary Doctorate

Kanye West delivered a graduation speech on Monday after receiving an honorary doctorate degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a school he had previously expressed regret for not attending.

The College Dropout rapper, who dropped out of the American Academy of Art and Chicago State University at the age of 20 to pursue his rap career, wore a cap and gown and walked across the stage to receive his diploma with the other graduates, according to the New York Daily News.

“‘I’m sorry’ is something that you can use a lot,” West said. “It gives you the opportunity to give your opinion, apologize for it, and give your opinion again. You should not be sorry for your opinions.”

In a comment that drew big laughs, West referenced a statement he made in 2005 shortly after Hurricane Katrina in which he said that then-President George W. Bush “doesn’t care about black people.”

“George Bush…” the rapper began, pausing while the audience laughed. “…has some very cool self-portraits. I didn’t know he was an artist.”

“This honor is going to make your lives easier, for two reasons,” West continued. “You don’t have to defend me as much. And I’m gonna make all of our lives easier. And it’s these Floyd Mayweather belts that are needed to prove what I’ve been saying my entire life. Whether it’s the co-sign of Paul McCartney grabbing me and saying, ‘it’s okay, it doesn’t bite white people,’ or the New York Times cover, or the Time Most Influential cover, and now a doctorate at the Art Institute of Chicago.

“When I was giving a lecture at Oxford, 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 that I had a degree at the Art Institute of Chicago,” West concluded.

Listen to the full audio of West’s graduation speech above.

 

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