Thursday, January 17, 2013
Rappers and hip hop artists are often associated with violent lyrics and are not renowned for their intellectual stimulation but, as in all things, this stereotype does not always hold true. Some of the most famous rappers in the world, including Ludacris, Common and Lil Wayne, hold college degrees and are highly intelligent underneath their swaggering personas. A few have gone even further and can claim a master's degree on their resumes. These are five well-known hip hop artists who have gone above and beyond their job requirements by pursuing graduate degree.
Flame, or Marcus Gray, is a Christian hip hop artist devoted to bringing ministry to young people in a modern way. He believes that the best way to speak to the new generation of Christians, especially in an increasingly secular society, is to take it to their level in a respectful manner. As such, his rhymes are clean and faith-oriented, and he has developed a large following within the Christian community. Flame is also dedicated to understanding how to educate people and work through problems, and so he is currently pursuing his master's degree in counseling.
David Banner is a Grammy-nominated artist hailing from Jackson, Mississippi. His talent for rap was noted at an early age, but when it failed to provide a living he earned a bachelor's degree in business and began a graduate program in education. The business knowledge paid off, however, and when he was just one semester shy of completion his records began to sell. Banner left school and never looked back, and now he is one of the most popular rappers in the United States.
Mikkey Halsted is a long-time associate of famous artists such as Common and Kanye West, with roots stretching back to both artists' earliest days in the industry. He played semi-professional basketball for years before signing on to a record company. It was at this time that he continued his college career by pursuing a master's degree in education. He was the first in his family to complete a graduate program. Today he is an independent artist with ties to all of his old friends as well as Lil Wayne.
When most people think about hip hop, they don't imagine a white woman from Minnesota. Dessa is determined to add a balanced feminist perspective to rap, which has long had a reputation of sexism, while still respecting its roots and culture. She blends rapping and singing, and her work is heavily influenced by her master's degree in philosophy. According to Dessa, hip hop gives her a platform to explore and share concepts that would be considered dry and boring if simply written down. She has released three albums to date and is gaining a wider following, including listeners who generally avoid hip hop.
Tablo is perhaps Korea's most celebrated rapper and a growing presence in the rest of the world. While earning a master's degree in English from Stanford, Tablo became acquainted with hip hop and decided to bring it back to Korea. He reached his peak in 2009, selling out concerts in both nations and topping the album charts. Just when it looked like Tablo had made it, however, his master's degree sunk him. Widespread rumors that he had forged his identity and diplomas flooded through the Internet, and he became infamous overnight as a fraud. Although the claims were later proven false, his reputation has only recently improved enough to begin recording new work.
Lisa Goodson is a guidance counselor who has written many interesting articles on the topics of education and psychology. She also has contributed to the Top 25 Online Masters Programs for people who want to continue their education using online programs.