This Rap Star Has Been Sending Kids To College, And Nobody Even Knew

It's amazing what you don't know about artists.

Some celebrities do their charitable work out in the open. Others, like Nelly, do it a bit more quietly.

The rap star from St. Louis, Missouri has been helping run the ex'treme Institute by Nelly, a program designed to help students get business, entertainment and beat making educations. But Nelly, unlike many entertainers in his position, prefers to loan his resources and ideas to the institute, not his image. 

"It's not about the hoo-ha, it's about the silent assassins," he told Hello Beautiful. "I try to do it through education. The only way we're going to get this is to elevate. We have to get the kids to go out of these communities. Graduate. Get the knowledge. Come back to the community and then they can run it because they understand the people and understand the severity of the situation."

Carl Nappa, the school's executive director and an accomplished recording engineer, told St. Louis Mag that he saw Nelly's institute as the perfect way to prepare an artists for the entertainment industry.  

Via St. Louis Mag:

As Nappa sees it, a student with a degree from the ex'treme Institute will enter today's market, where artists also need to be entrepreneurs, versed in every aspect of the music business, with several advantages. He will have confidence, music-industry connections, and a CD of material that he recorded, the program's capstone project.

The school was opened in late 2011 and has continued to grow since. After media criticized Nelly for taking time to arrive in St. Louis after the Ferguson shootings, people defending him citing sources that he has sent two students to college every year for the last ten years. Then, when he did arrive in St. Louis, he announced the Mike Brown scholarship. 

Bravo to Nelly for being a charitable celebrity and doing it without making it about himself.

Cover photo: Ethan Miller / Getty Images


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