Spike Lee's new musical
Contrary to early reports,
The film is slated for theatrical and online release via
A different West-affiliated project got more local support, however, this one from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where West was awarded an honorary doctorate Sunday.
West gave a formal hourlong Q&A session for the occasion, during which he highlighted his longtime interests in design and visual art (West has collaborated with Takashi Murakami, Samantha Beecroft and George Condos on album and performance art pieces).
"To be stereotyped as a hip-hop artist can be very much a hood that can put you in positions where people wouldn't expect you to be," West said about his visual art work. "And in the same way how, when you step into places that have a 'you're not from here'-type vibe, if you are from there, and you're too accredited, a lot of times people will put their guards up, and be less willing to work with you. And a lot of times I've been able to work with the most amazing people on the planet because I was considered not to be a threat to what they do – because I was just there to be a 'hip-hop artist.'"
Later, he made a short and genial appearance at the graduation itself, where he gave a commencement speech, riffing on the self-portraiture of his old nemesis George W. Bush and underlining the fact that, contrary to popular opinion, he really is pretty happy most of the time.
Now that he has the degree for which he pined on his 2005 single "Hey Mama," his mother Donda would surely have been proud of him.