Missy Elliott Celebrates Receiving Honorary Doctorate Degree

The "Work It" Rapper Makes History by Becoming the First Hip Hop Artist to Receive the Degree

May 13, 2019
Bianca V.

Move aside we have a new Doctor in town! Missy Elliott is out here making history. 

The "Work It" rapper is the first hip hop artist to receive an honorary degree from Berklee's College of Music. 

Elliott is no stranger to breaking records, she's also the first female rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. 

Missy was clearly overtaken with emotion fighting back tears saying, "Let me just soak it in" before she gave a heartfelt commencement speech. 

She started off by saying, "I just want y'all to know there will be ups and downs, but don't give up."

Elliott retold some of the challenges she's faced in her three decade long career.

She talked about the first time she was a featured artist and was disappointed to find her vocals were laid on top of a more "slender" looking woman. 

Missy also mentioned being nominated for 12 awards and walking out empty handed. 

Despite the setbacks she has managed to go platinum and has had wide commercial success. 

She finished her speech by encouraging the graduates, "You have to have patience," she reminded them. "As long as you are breathing it is never too late. People will tell you you're too old, it will never work. Don't believe that because I am standing here today." 

Watch the full commencement speech below