Rap Scion Scores USC Scholarship May 5, 2008Posted by twilightandreason in Higher Education.
Tags: Basketball, Black Students, DeMar DeRozan, Higher Education, Li'l Romeo, Master P, Rap Music, Street Cred, USC
Rapper Lil’ Romeo (right) and father Master P at a recent photo op.
In researching Black rappers who graduated from college I have encountered a peculiar phenomenon. There is, I have been told, a tendency among college-educated rappers to downplay or even lie about their academic credentials. The thinking is, apparently, that admitting to having a diploma can jeopardize your street cred with the (mostly white) fans.
Enter, then, Lil’ Romeo, son of southern fried rap mogul Master P and a hip hop artist in his own right. According to Sportswrap/berecruited.com Li’l Romeo committed in mid-April to play basketball for USC. There has been speculation that Lil’ Romeo was recruited primarily because of his strong connection to best friend DeMar DeRozan, currently the nation’s number 2-ranked high school prospect. Both will be enrolling at the University and suiting up for basketball practice together, beginning next fall. USC coaches, however, have denied that Percy “Lil’ Romeo” Miller and DeRozan are a package deal.
As for Romeo’s rapper father, Master P, he seems to be as interested in the opportunities that USC will provide for his son off-court. Sportswrap interviewed the senior Percy Miller about Li’l Romeo’s decision to attend and play for USC:
“It’s great for him,” said Master P, who coaches his son and Derozan on the P. Miller Ballers in the spring and summer. “USC is a great school and I felt like he made a great decision.”
The younger Miller will focus solely on school and basketball for the next few years, according to Master P.
“He can be polishing up his film career at USC,” Master P said. “When he’s finished after four years at 21 or 22 years old, he’ll hopefully be able to take either basketball to the next level or Hollywood to the next level.”
“This is what it’s all about,” he added. “I’m just glad he has the opportunity to do both.”
At this point Lil’ Romeo will have no choice but to acknowledge that he is a college-educated rapper. How this will influence his street cred, however, remains to be seen. Perhaps, in attending college, but on a Division I basketball scholarship, he has happened upon the one way that a Black male rap artist can hit the books and still be perceived as “keepin’ it real.”
Posted by Ajuan Mance