Here’s a List Of 15 Famous Rappers with College Degrees

The majority of people believe that because hip-hop originated in the streets, being from them improves your image. Because of this, most people are still surprised when you list the top-ranking rappers in terms of education. Several well-known rap artists have college degrees. If you listen closely, you may hear this in the clever rhymes they use.

If you don’t think rappers with degrees exist, prepare to have your mind blown because we’ve selected some of the most well-known rappers who are college graduates. However, others attended college but left early to focus on their careers.

Several universities, such as Carolina Central University, have honored and praised these musicians with honorary papers after they achieved popularity. A list of rappers with degrees is below:

Table of Contents

1. Nicki Minaj:

Nicki Minaj is undoubtedly among the top female rappers with college degrees when discussing the genre. She is frequently referred to as the “Queen of Hip Hop” and is one of the wealthiest rappers in the world.

Educational background:

In 2002, Nicki Minaj graduated from La Guardia School of Music, Art, and Performing Arts. Contrary to popular belief, she was not very interested in music in academic pursuits. Videos from those times depict Minaj as the feisty, assertive lady we know today; she decided to study acting.

  • Her first album:

She gained attention from the public after mixtapes she released between 2007 and 2009 were released. Nicki rocketed to stardom with her debut album, Pink Friday in 2010 which topped the U.S. Billboard 200 list.

  • Popularity and admiration:

She received the popularity and admiration she so richly deserved because of her stylistic diversity and razor-sharp lyrics. In the song “Monster,” she claimed her space and won the hearts of listeners. Her voice helped her stand out on this track where two rap titans, Jay Z, and Kanye West, are present.

Nicki Minaj is regarded as one of the greatest female rappers of all time and has received several honorable accolades.

  • Nicki Minaj’s net worth:

Nicki Minaj is thought to have a net worth of about $100 million.

2. J Cole:

The North Carolina rapper, who is also one of the rappers that went to college and are regarded as one of the greatest contemporary emcees, attributes his success to his time spent studying at St. John’s University in Jamaica, Queens. 

  • Educational background:

He attended the college on an academic scholarship. Despite combining classes and the studio, he managed to get his business degree in 2007.

  • His first album:

On September 27, 2011, J. Cole released Cole World: The Sideline Story, his debut studio album. With 218,000 copies sold in its first week, it debuted at the top of the US Billboard 200.

  • Popularity and admiration:

Years after he left, St. John’s administration continued to ask the Fayetteville town-born Cole to headline the spring performance.

  • J Cole’s net worth:

  1. Cole has a net worth of $60 million.

3. Kanye West:

In addition to being a gifted rapper, singer, and composer, Kanye West is a fashion mogul. This gifted artist is also one of the rappers with college degrees who attended high school in his hometown before receiving financial aid to study at the American Academy of Art. 

  • Educational background:

KW attended Chicago State University to study English but left to focus on his job.

  • His first album:

The College Dropout, West’s debut album, was released in February 2004 and debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200. In June 2004, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified The College Dropout as double-platinum.

  • Popularity and admiration:

Kanye was one of the three richest self-made black persons in American history when he was a multi-billionaire. Once his 2004 album The College Dropout was released, Kanye became extremely well-known. With 21 Grammy wins from 69 nominations, he is currently among the most popular and honored performers in the globe.

  • Kanye West’s net worth:

The total wealth of Kanye West is $500 million.

4. Ice Cube:

One of the educated rapper that attended college is American rapper, actor, and director Straight Outta Compton, whose 1988 album helped gangsta rap gain popularity. 

  • Educational background:

He began attending the Phoenix Institute of Technology in 1987, and in 1988 he received his diploma in architectural drafting.

  • His first album:

AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, his debut solo album, was released in 1990. The Bomb Squad, a production unit for the rap group Public Enemy, handled the bulk of the album’s production, and Ice Cube’s new group, Da Lench Mob, contributed vocals.

  • Popularity and admiration:

American rapper Ice Cube also worked as an actor, producer, and businessman. One of the founders of West Coast gangster rap, Ice Cube has evolved into one of the most significant figures in modern Hollywood. He was one of the most talented artists. He has written, produced, and acted in several movies, who knows maybe he could also initiate a ‘write my dissertation cheap’ startup that would aid in his popularity since he was good at writing. After first being well-known and wealthy as a member of NWA, he had a very successful solo career.

  • Ice Cube’s net worth:

The total net worth of Ice Cube is $160 million.

5. Young Thug:

Young Thug’s childhood has had a significant impact on both his musical career and his personal life. Growing up in the center of the trap music subgenre to which he has made significant contributions. 

  • Educational background:

At East Point, Georgia, Young Thug attended Tri-Cities High School. Lil Baby, a rapper who has regarded Thug as a mentor and guiding force during the early stages of his career, is the source of that information.

  • His first album:

So Much Fun, the debut studio album by Thug, premiered and peaked at number one on the Billboard 200, making it his first album to reach that position. Slime & B, a mixtape he made with Chris Brown, debuted at number 24 in 2020 after its release.

  • Popularity and admiration:

Although some may consider him quirky, his success and popularity have unquestionably contributed to the current hip-hop industry. Young Thug has developed into a fan favorite among trap music lovers after working with a variety of musicians.

  • Young Thug’s net worth:

Rapper Young Thug from the United States has an $8 million fortune.

6. Drake:

Drake is a producer, actress, singer, and songwriter of Canadian descent whose real name is Audrey Drake Graham. He gained notoriety in the early 2000s as a result of his appearance in Degrassi: The Next Generation. But, Audrey had no intention of turning her teenage woes into a successful profession. Drake left the show in 2007 to pursue a career in rap.

  • Educational background:

At the age of 15, Drake left Vaughan Road Academy to pursue a career in acting. Drake returned to school to complete his high school graduation in 2012, ten years after quitting. Drake announced his accomplishment on Twitter shortly after receiving his diploma: “97% on my final test.” However, people assume that he might have taken some assignment assistant services or buy cheap dissertations but he is one of the brilliant brains in the industry.

  • His first album:

Drake’s Thank Me Later, his first studio album, was released in June 2010.

  • Popularity and admiration:

One of the highest-paid entertainers in the world constantly is Drake. With the popular Canadian television program “Degrassi: The New Generation,” Drake made his acting debut. He would become well-known around the world, nevertheless, thanks to his music, which he has been creating or recording since 2006.

  • Drake’s net worth:

$250 million is Drake’s estimated net worth.

7. Eminem:

Hip-hop was in Megan Pete’s blood from birth; her mother Holly Thomas was a Houston underground rapper connected to DJ Screw’s Screwed Up Click. Since Megan didn’t have childcare, Thomas would carry her little daughter to recording sessions, but he had one rule: wait till you’re 21. So, she continued pursuing her education.

  • Educational background:

The land-grant HBCU Prairie View A&M University accepted Megan as a student. But, Megan quickly became famous when she started releasing freestyles on YouTube and Instagram and smashing local rappers in the cypher. She graduated from Texas Southern University with a degree in health administration in 2021.

  • First album:

With the commercially released EP Make It Hot, Megan Thee Stallion made her solo professional debut in September 2017.

  • Popularity and admiration:

Despite Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest’s best efforts to get her signed to Columbia or Def Jam, Megan forged her way on her own, gaining popularity for her uncanny confidence in her flow, brazen use of graphic language, and some of the funniest lines since Biggie.

  • Stallion’s net worth:

Megan Thee Stallion has an $8 million net worth.

8. Megan Thee Stallion:

Eminem is the stage name of Marshall Bruce Mathers III, an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer. He is hailed by critics as one of the best rappers of all time and is credited with introducing hip hop to Middle America. 

  • Educational background:

The talented rapper attended Lincoln High School in Warren, Michigan, where he three times failed the ninth grade before leaving school at age 17. Despite not doing well in school, Eminem has shown a passion for language by reading comic books and even studying the dictionary.

  • First album:

In 1996, Eminem released his debut solo album, Infinite, as an underground rapper. Once his major-label first album The Slim Shady LP was released in 1999, he became widely known. Eminem won his first Grammy for Best Rap Album for the album as well.

  • Popularity and admiration:

Rapper, actor, producer, and multi-platinum seller Eminem is from the United States. He routinely ranks among the world’s highest-paid performers. The acceptability of white rappers in mainstream music is often credited to Eminem’s widespread popularity and renowned works, which broke down racial barriers. He became popular for most of his provocative work in the late 1990s and early 2000s, yet despite this, he became a symbol of the popular anguish of the American underclass and was mentioned as an inspiration by several artists across many different genres.

  • Eminem’s net worth:

Eminem has a net worth of $250 million.

9. Ludacris:

The rapper, Christopher Luda, was quite intelligent. Ludacris was a good writer and he wrote “Move B—-” and “Freaky Thangs,” His fans assume he could also provide dissertation help to students but since he is now in a good field as well so we can’t force our likes.

  • Educational background:

He earned his degree from Georgia State University with honors. He managed music, which enabled him and his manager to create Disturbing The Peace Records. Chris is also a highly renowned actor.

  • First album:

Under his indie label Disturbing Tha Peace, Ludacris released his debut album Incognegro in 1999.

  • Popularity and admiration:

He started rapping in primary school since he had always been interested in music. The breakthrough songs “Southern Hospitality” and “What’s Your Fantasy?” from his debut album, “Back for the First Time,” helped popularize Atlanta’s “Dirty South” style across the country. Since then, he has put out several other albums and begun a successful acting career, making appearances in movies including “2 Fast 2 Furious,” “Crash,” and “New Year’s Eve,” among others. He is co-founder of Disturbing Tha Peace Records and a Grammy and SAG Award winner.

  • Ludacris’ net worth:

The net worth of Ludacris is $30 million.

10. Chuck D:

Chuck is well known for being the boss of Public Enemy, a rap crew that started in 1985 with Flavor Flav’s assistance. Chuck D rose to fame and became well-known for his politically charged lyrics and music that encouraged activism. He is now regarded as one of the finest lyricists and rappers of all time. Mistachuck, Carl Ryder, Chuck Dangerous, The Hard Rhymer, and The Rhyme Animal are just a few of Chuck’s nick titles.

  • Educational background:

He spent countless hours honing his skills and attending Adelphi University to pursue a BA in Graphic Design before achieving popularity (AU). While concentrating on this curriculum. Despite having a concentration in graphic design, Chuck D is not well renowned for his sense of style.

  • First album:

In the meanwhile, he issued The Autobiography of Mistachuck, his debut solo album, in 1996.

  • Popularity and admiration:

His popularity in the industry is not due to his visual aesthetic. His words usually outshine the beats, and he pronounces each word like a newsreader with a strong baritone. The speed of the flow is irrelevant. He claimed that the message was what mattered most and that the genre was CNN for black people.

  • Chuck D’s net worth:

Chuck D has a $14 million net worth.

11. Yasiin Bey:

Dante Smith, alias Mos Def, aka Yasiin Bey, one of the most respected MCs of his time, is well-known for his socially aware songs, constant reinvention, and unmistakable drawl. Whereas Dante Smith had already had a great career in Hollywood as a child actor, Mos first entered the hip-hop scene as a guest on tracks by Native Tongues ensembles Da Bush Babees and De La Soul.

  • Educational background:

The young man who would become Mos Def dropped out of high school to pursue his acting career and later acknowledged his passion for acting as the thing that kept him safe from the violence and criminality of the Brooklyn projects. He found consistent employment in TV movies, theatre, and comedies.

  • First album:

Mos released his solo debut, Black On Both Sides, in 1999. It was rated gold and was praised by reviewers for returning hip-hop to its roots as a form of political commentary.

  • Popularity and admiration:

At NYU, Mos Def was studying theatre when he nearly unintentionally entered the hip-hop world. Early in the 1990s, Mos had some success performing his poetry in places like the legendary Nuyorican Café. In 1993, he and his siblings started a hip-hop ensemble. Because of this, he caught the attention of the Native Tongues collective, a group of artists from the hyper-lyrical, Afrocentric culture that also featured Queen Latifah, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, and the Jungle Brothers.

  • Yasiin Bey’s net worth:

AKA Mos Def Yasiin Bey is estimated to be worth $1.5 million.

12. Young MC:

Young MC began rapping at the age of 10 since it was the culture prevalent where he was up in Hollis, Queens, which is also where Run-DMC was born. He was the son of ambitious, hard-working Jamaican immigrants, so slacking off, roaming the streets, or getting into mischief was not an option.

  • Educational background:

Young studied economics while polishing his rapping abilities, drawing the attention of two classmates who had formed Tasty Vinyl Records at one of the most prominent private research colleges in the West. Young was the first artist they signed, but Tone Loc, who was spewing Young MC-penned lyrics, was their first big hit.

  • First album:

The American rapper Young MC’s first studio album is titled Stone Cold Rhymin’. It was initially released in 1989 by Yummy Vinyl, and Rhino Records later reissued it. On the Billboard Top Pop Albums list, the album peaked at position nine.

  • Popularity and admiration:

Don’t consider Marvin Young to be a one-hit-wonder. Young MC is a British-born rapper and producer whose most famous song, “Bust a Move,” has come to define him forever. 

  • Young MC‘s net worth:

Young MC has a net worth of $2 million.

13. Saweetie:

Saweetie, also known as Diamonté Quiava Valentin Harper, has never been silent about the value of education in her life. Born in Sacramento, California, to a Filipina-Chinese mother and an African-American father, Saweetie was surrounded by the sounds of West Coast hip-hop as a child.

  • Educational background:

Saweetie took a risk when she first enrolled at San Diego State University and gave herself the option to either pursue music full-time or transfer to the University of Southern California. She was accepted into one of the best communications programs in the world because of her desire and an effective letter to the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

  • First album:

The upcoming first studio album by American rapper Saweetie is titled Beautiful Bitch Music, and it is anticipated to be released via Artistry and Warner Records.

  • Popularity and admiration:

With her first single “Icy Grl,” Saweetie became well-known in 2018. The EPs “High Maintenance” and “Icy,” the latter of which produced the popular song “My Type,” was later released by the artist. With the tracks “Tap In” and “Best Friend,” which are included in her debut studio album “Beautiful Bitch Music,” Saweetie achieved more success.

  • Saweetie’s net worth:

Saweetie has a net worth of $4 million.

14. Childish Gambino:

Among rappers that went to college, Donald Glover is one of the most exceptional multi-talented performers to come along in a generation. Glover must be one of the busiest people in Hollywood, having worked as a network television writer right out of college, starred in Community, performed stand-up comedy, and wrote, directed, and starred in Atlanta.

  • Educational background:

Glover began his pursuit of further education at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he majored in dramatic writing and received his diploma in 2006. Glover’s career began that year after he was hired as a writer for 30 Rock thanks to a spec script he wrote for The Simpsons.

  • First album:

Under his stage name Childish Gambino, American music artist Donald Glover released his first studio album titled Camp. On November 15, 2011, Glassnote Records made it available.

  • Popularity and admiration:

In less than a decade, Glover has released five mixtapes, an EP, and three albums (Camp, Because the Internet, and “Awaken, My Love!”). This has given him the reputation of constantly having his finger on the cultural pulse. Glover went even further in 2018 with the release of his remarkable music video for the tune “This is America,” bringing the Childish Gambino spirit to the American psyche in a way that only a celebrity can.

  • Childish Gambino’s net worth:

Donald Glover also has a net worth of $35 million.

15. Talib Kweli:

Talib Kweli must be at the top of any list of the greatest hip-hop lyricists; otherwise, the list is inherently flawed. Kweli, one of the top rappers with academic degrees, grew up in a highly educated household with an English professor as his mother, a college administrator and sociologist as his father, and a law professor as his mother (his brother). Kweli began writing poems and stories while he was young, switching to rapping solely to gain popularity in school.

  • Educational background:

Talib Kweli studied experimental theater at New York University.

  • First album:

He launched his first album in 2002 named Quality.

  • Popularity and admiration:

Early on, he rose to fame as a member of the hip-hop group Black Star with Mos Def. He later enjoyed success in his solo career and worked with musicians like Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, and Just Blaze.

  • Talib Kweli’s net worth:

Talib Kweli has a net worth of $4 million.


Several more icons attended college than those on the list; many of them are not included. Some of you might have still wondered, what rapper went to Harvard, it is Rapper Ja Rule who completed his education at Harvard. Ryan Leslie, Diddy, Young MC, Mos Def, Ice Cube, and others are a few examples. Hence, if you believe that all MCs receive poor grades, you were mistaken.

The fact that most MCs constantly strive for authenticity and street credit is one of the reasons why people assume these individuals lack education. Hip-hop uses the term to describe stories of dropouts, slum rags to riches, and gun ownership. Even people who are accepted into elite colleges frequently conceal this information by remaining silent about it.


Ja Rule, a rapper, has earned his MBA from Harvard Business School.
Lil Wayne, Waka Flocka, Dre, etc. have an honorary Ph.D. degrees.
He enrolled at the institution first with a psychology degree before switching to the University of Phoenix to study online courses.
J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar, both had 4.0 GPAs upon graduation.