Hip hop artist Waka Flocka, whose real name is Juaquin James Malphurs, can now add the title of “doctor” to his name. On Saturday (Oct 3), he was awarded an honorary doctorate in philanthropy and humanitarianism.
Photos and videos of the ceremony surfaced online over the weekend in which the rapper could be seen dressed in his graduation cap and gown as he accepted the honor. During the ceremony, the 34-year-old was thanked and acknowledged for the philanthropic work he has done over the years.
Waka Flocka posted a photo of himself on Instagram on Monday with the caption “I got Honorary Doctorate in Philanthropy and Humanitarianism… my work just beginning”. His wife, Tammy Rivera, posted a photo of Waka holding his diploma with the caption “Proud of you”.
Lil Yachty was so happy for Waka, he shared a one-minute IGTV congratulating Waka. “I think that’s some shit we need to celebrate in the hip-hop community,” Yachty says in the clip. “It’s not a normal thing but it’s an amazing thing,” he continued, before noting that he “always wanted to go back to school to get my degree.”
This acknowledgment comes after Waka let his fans know earlier this year that he was dedicating his life to advocating for mental health awareness and suicide prevention. In 2013, he lost his younger brother, Coades Scott, who tragically died by suicide.
“I’m officially dedicating my life to suicide prevention and mental illness!!!” Waka Flocka tweeted out at the time. “Y’all not alone Waka Flocka Flame is with y’all now!!!!”
With the new accomplishment, Waka Flocka has joined a list of other artists who have also received honorary doctorates — Common, who received his from Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina; Kanye West, who received his from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Diddy from Howard University as well as Missy Elliot from the Berklee College of Music.