Yeezy Taught Me: Student Recounts Kanye West “Teaching” College Course

September 24, 2014  |  

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On September 19, students at L.A. Trade Technical College received the opportunity to learn from Grammy award winning musician and producer Kanye West. In order to serve his court-mandated 250 hours of community service for confronting paparazzi, West volunteered at the college.

The students who participated were a part of the school’s digital communications department along with high school dropouts who were in the college’s bridge program. During his appearance West taught the students about his personal experiences in the music and fashion industries. And of course, Kanye was Kanye.

Complex magazine interviewed Andre Pitts, a visual communications major, to find out what the students learned from Professor Yeezy. Pitts says West allowed a Q&A session after his almost two-hour speech about life and what it means to be successful. Here are a few highlights from Pitt’s interview:

So once the excitement died down after he walked in, did he just start talking?

​No, he walked through the door and then nobody was yelling or anything obviously, but everyone kind of just started talking to the people around them and he went over to the instructors of the class and spoke to them quietly for a minute. And then he introduced—well he didn’t introduce himself—but the teacher kind of said, “Well all of you know who this is obviously,” so then he started talking.

That’s crazy. What do you remember him speaking about?
A lot of stuff. He was all over the place, but I mean, one of the main things he was talking about was…he was giving examples of different things and saying that having a Rolex or a Benz is not something that actually represents your success because there’s always something more expensive to buy. So, he was saying that success was really being able to do things for others as well as the people around you and yourself.

Is there anything else that really stuck with you that he made sure to emphasize as a significant point?
He was all over the place. He reminds me of my brother, the way he didn’t really stick to one thing. He talked about Tupac. He was watching the movie Juice, and he was inspired by Tupac being in the movie. He talked about how Ice Cube is one of his biggest inspirations and one of his biggest let-downs. He talked a little bit about Steve Jobs. He mentioned a little bit about how the media portrays him negatively, but he’s saying that he’s not anything negative, it’s just him being real and calling out bullshit all the time. He spoke about his grandfather, actually, and him being in Chicago, and after that it was kind of cut off short, and he had us go into questions and answers.

Read the interview in its entirety, here.

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