For Detroit’s KeY Wane, Graduation has Two Degrees of Success
For young super producer already killing the game, graduation from Tenn. State Univ. is around the corner.
Today is Monday, and KeY Wane is conflicted. The rapper and fellow Detroit native Big Sean and his management team wants to fly him out to Los Angeles for the next three days to help put the finishing touches on Sean’s sophomore album, Hall of Fame: Memoirs of a Detroit Player, before Sean leaves the country for a couple of weeks. The cross-country trip would mean Wane would have to miss nearly an entire week of classes and, knowing that he’s already missed a few too many classes this semester, needs to focus on a couple of big assignments. He’s just left a sociology class, the last one of the day.
“There are always going to be chances to do the music thing once I finish,” Wane said, checking his calendar and messages on his iPhone. “I don’t want my mom paying for anything else. People get comfortable, I don’t.” He put the trip on hold.
KeY Wane, (real name Dwane Marshall Weir II), 22, hardly has typical college days anymore; most college seniors aren’t signed to publishing deals months before they get ready to take triumphant strides across a commencement stage. Most students are taking exit exams, mailing off graduation invitations to family and friends, putting finishing touches to senior projects. Wane is enrolled in a whopping six courses, 18 credit hours – just one credit shy from what would be considered an overload at the university. On top of that, he spends what little free time he has left in his home studio.
When classes finally end, a new set of challenges await. On December 15, Wane will get his B.S. degree in Commercial Music from Tennessee State, a historically black college situated just north of downtown Nashville.
The writer for Black Enterprise, Marshall Latimore, is also an alumnus of Tennessee State University.