Chicago State University
9501 South King Drive
Chicago, IL 60628
August 22, 2010
Dear Sir or Madam,
Reliant Arena, 8400 Kirby, 713-799-9500.
Thursday, November 25
My name is Kanye West. I am writing to inform you of my plans to matriculate at the illustrious Chicago State University. Again. Yes, I'm that guy. The one who talked mad shit about higher education on College Dropout and Late Registration. I understand any reluctance you may have about my application, considering I dropped out of CSU years ago to pursue my hip-hop career. But that was then. This is now.
Back in the day, I was one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people. Now I'm lucky to make the "Where Are They Now?" edition of US Weekly. Back then, I was the right person at the right time. People wanted someone with the intelligence of Common who wasn't so, well, common. A dawg who didn't need 48-karat incisors to have bite.
My first three albums were a trilogy, which was some serious next-level Led Zeppelin-and-Frodo Baggins shit for hip-hop. Jaws dropped. Critics had a lip-lock on my jock. People even overlooked the fact that my flow was pedestrian, my albums had more holes than 50 Cent's chest and my songs featured more guest spots than The Tonight Show. But eventually they got bored and I got sloppy. I was never fully embraced by the streets, and my paranoid rants ultimately chased away suburbia. I was left with nothing.
Now I'm a changed man. Ever since my fifth album (The Fifth-Year Senior) tanked earlier this year, I've had a lot of time to pray and think about my future. I want to return to college and get my diploma, and not just because the Artist Formerly Known as P, D, PD, Ph.D, Diddy, P. Diddy, Puffy, Puff Daddy, etc. won't return my calls. With your help, I can turn my life around. Enclosed you will find materials that I believe show I'm an ideal candidate for resuming studies at CSU.
Love and respect,
Attachment 1: Official Application
Last name: West. First Name: Kanye. M.I.: O.
Birth date: June 8, 1977
Gender: Please. Do the words "magnum" and "in your mouth" mean anything to you?
Marital status: Single, baby. At least as soon as my divorce from Condi Rice is finalized. I can get down with kinky shit, but that chick was a freak.
Permanent address: I'm kinda crashing at my mom's place in Skokie right now. But it's just temporary.
Mailing address: Technically, I don't have one. I had to fake my own death to avoid the creditors. But you can send general delivery mail to "Eynak Tsew" at the Skokie post office. I tell people I'm a Haitian cab driver.
Occupation: Former Next Best Thing No. 2,923,457,876. And, if anyone asks, a cabbie from Port-au-Prince.
Phone number: 867-5309. Ask for Jenny.
Citizenship: United States, unless President Jeb Bush has anything to say about it. Shit, and I thought his brother didn't care about black people.
Ethnic origin: Say it loud
Military service: "Jesus Walks" was used in the Jarhead trailer; does that count?
In case of emergency, contact: Pharrell Williams. Resident of the Former Hip-hop Cameo Whore Recovery Center, Los Angeles, California.
Term you are applying for admission: It All Falls Down. Get it? Falls down? Brilliant.
Intended major: Undecided. Whatever will help me get my diamond-encrusted Jesus pendant out of hock.
Attachment 2: Personal Essay
Why is CSU a good college choice for you?
Because my transcripts are crap, and this is my best chance at skating by on "Hey, weren't you Kanye West once?" name recognition. Plus, my moms used to be head of the English department, so I have some serious dirt on your faculty if you force me to get down with a little black male blackmail. Ooh, that was a good one. I'm gonna have to write that down.
Describe a pivotal moment in your life.
First would be the Car Accident back in 2002. Who knew that getting your shit busted in three places would actually help your career? I was already a legit producer, but I was tired of Jay, Talib and Luda getting all the props when it was my beats signing their royalty checks. I did some mixtapes but, let's face it, I'm no Jay-Z. It wasn't until I shattered my jaw that people even noticed I could speak. Rapping with my mouth sewn shut on "Through the Wire" was a stroke of genius.
Aside from that, probably the most significant event of the past few years was when I taught a class at CSU as a "stand-in professor" back in September 2005 for some MTV show. It was supposed to be ironic, but that's when I started to realize I wouldn't be bonking rap-video vixens and drinking out of Snoop's jewel-encrusted chalice forever. It didn't help that I was touring with Fantasia from American Idol at the time.
What would you change about your life if you had known then what you know now?
Kick your shoes off and stay awhile. This may take a minute. First off, I got too cocky. I stretched myself too thin. Among other things, by the spring of 2006 I was producing, touring and promoting Late Registration, working on my third album, operating my G.O.O.D. Music record label and launching my Pastelle Clothing line.
Make no mistake, I had style. My early albums had substance too, but not nearly enough to keep the U.S.S. Kanye afloat forever. Sure, I had some legitimate tracks on The College Dropout and Late Registration -- party joints like "Slow Jamz" and "Gold Digger," adversity anthems like "Through the Wire" and "All Falls Down," smoking social commentaries like "Jesus Walks" and "Diamonds from Sierra Leone" -- but the rest was filler, pure and simple. And it wasn't even my caulk filling most of the holes. Christ, on Late Registration alone I had cameos from Jaime Foxx, Common, the Game, Consequence, Cam'ron, Nas, Really Doe, GLC and Paul Wall. Not to mention (sigh) the dude from Maroon 5. But the fact that I was sugarcoating my own flows with the Hip-hop Yellow Pages didn't turn people off nearly as much as my conspiracy theories.
I'll admit I was a little paranoid. Shit, who wasn't in 2005? Nonetheless, I chased people off. They were fine with me saying the government didn't care about black folks. They grinned and bore it when -- on Late Registration -- I suggested AIDS was administered by Whitey to kill Africans ("Heard 'Em Say") and that Ronald Reagan used cocaine to disband the Black Panthers ("Crack Music"). But when I started saying the Michelin Man killed Tupac and Twinkie the Kid was tapping my phones, people thought I went too far. I still see a white Hostess van tailing me sometimes, but what are you gonna do? Snack cakes are bigger than the police.
Attachment 3: Letters of Recommendation
From: Shawn Carter
Occupation: CEO of the R-O-C, part-time H to the OV although I used to sell rocks by the OC, freelance P-I-M-P, full-time Sucker for Acronyms, Dawg (or SAD).
How I know [Applicant]: 'Ye and I have been friends for almost a decade now. And let me tell ya something, it's been a hard knock life for us. I repeat: a hard knock life, for us. Instead of being treated, we've been tricked. Instead of kisses, we've been kicked. And nobody has been kicked harder than Kanye. Life hasn't been the same for him since that tape of him pissing on R. Kelly got out. Even VH1's Remaking: Kanye West didn't work, which is why he needs a second chance. In fact, I think CSU is his only chance.
Occupation: World's Fastest Rapper, the Guy That Wasn't Jamie Foxx on "Slow Jamz"
How I know [Applicant]: Yo, soI'veknownKanyeforawhile,Youseewewerebothfromaround thewayinChicagoandhe'smyniggamostlybecausehehelpedmy careermorethananyothermotherfuckerbutnowhe'ssintrouble soI'mgonnadowhatIcantohelpabruthaout.Hewas,afterall, alwaystheretoputsomeIcyHotonmytongueafterIspitsome blisteringrhymes.NowI'mgonnareturnthefavorbyvouching forhisreadmissionintoChicagoStateUniversity,yaheard?
From: Jamie Foxx
Occupation: Thespian, the Guy That Was Actually Jaime Foxx on "Slow Jamz"
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How I Know [Applicant]: I am Kanye West. Or at least I play him in the upcoming made-for-TV movie Westward Expansion about Kanye's copious weight gain after he went off his New Workout Plan. But what can I say? We're both struggling these days.
After Ray and "Gold Digger," I thought we'd found the secret to crossover success. I won a second Oscar for my role in the biopic Hey, Who Turned Out the Lights?: The Stevie Wonder Story and my cameo on Kanye's remix of Wonder's "Superstition" called "Conspiracy (Someone's Hiding in My Closet, Pts. 1-8)" hit the top of the charts. But the cracks were starting to show. Kanye's Big Brother complex was weirding people out.
After that, our careers hit the skids. I stretched the famous-blind-person thing a little too far when I decided to play Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker 2: Out for Blood. It bombed. Not surprising, considering the core audience couldn't see or hear the movie. Nevertheless, I convinced Kanye to let me sing on another track. We were both too focused on another payday to realize that Helen Keller singing the hook on "Set Trippin' Over Furniture" consisted mostly of me moaning incoherently.
I take partial responsibility for Kanye's demise and implore you to accept his application to CSU. His motives might not be entirely pure, but this is all he's got. I ain't saying he's a gold digger, but nowadays there ain't nobody else messing with his broke ass. Speaking of which, could you send me an application?