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If Kanye West Can Capitalize on College Culture, So Can You!

On February 10, 2004 Kanye West released his debut album, The College Dropout. This classic album sold more than 4 million copies and has been considered one of the best albums of all-time. In spite of the album being a smash, Kanye’s ability to use college culture to attain financial success is more phenomenal. For example, there are about 7 million students that enroll at a community college annually and Kanye was able to capitalize on students’ shared experiences. Throughout the album he had skits about fraternity and sorority life, the job market, and the purpose of having a degree. His album provided songs about hating your job, chasing your dreams, and finding your purpose. In fact, Kanye’s ability to create such great content about college culture led him to creating a series of albums where he was able to attain massive success and a cult like following. His 2005 release, Late Registration went triple platinum and his 2007 album, Graduation went double platinum.

I’m sharing Kanye’s story of capitalizing on college culture to inform you on why it is important to immerse yourself on a college campus. Like Kanye, you can use the college environment as your start-up center to create financial wealth. What do I mean by this? In so many ways, students only look at college as the ivory tower for learning and socializing. However, it is more than that. College is really a launch pad for your business ideas, plans, marketing, and establishing a business. For example, Kanye’s college themed albums were distributed by Def Jam Records which was founded by Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin in Rubin’s New York University (NYU) dorm room.

According to Rhode Scholar and businessman, Dr. Randall Pinkett, every student should exhibit an entrepreneurial mind set and try to become a Campus CEO. Students should engage themselves on campus (especially Black males). As a student you should join business clubs, culture clubs, attend and participate in events when your college presents speakers. By participating you are allowing yourself to learn things as well as establish a network. This is extremely important because as the saying goes, “Your net worth is determined by your network.”

College is the only place where individuals are constantly developing and looking to learn and grow which means students are more than likely to say “yes” to an idea. Therefore, treat college as a learning laboratory where you get to practice your networking skills, marketing skills, and business savvy. When you do, I promise that you will attain profitable gains like Kanye without the President of the United States calling you a jackass.


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