PhDs and Dropouts: Killer Mike, Kreayshawn and John Maus Talk School


While the standard aspiration in the American school system is to get a college degree, we’ve found that many of the weirdest, best artists have stayed true to outsider form, either eschewing the system altogether and dropping out, or going the opposite extreme, getting ten-plus years deep into the academy. We talked to six musicians—Killer Mike, Kreayshawn, Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast, John Maus, Ekhi Lopetegi of Delorean and David Macklovitch of Chromeo—about getting schooled.

Click through for interviews and recommended reading from all six PhDs and dropouts.

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POSTED August 29, 2011 7:00PM IN NWSPRINT Comments (6) TAGS: , , , , , ,




  1. Steven says:

    Thanks for such an interesting article!

    I’m currently at work finishing up m a PhD in Biochemistry. However, when I’m not working i probably spend an unhealthy amount of time listening to, writing about or sharing music.
    The two activities almost have a Dr. Jekyll/ Mr. Hyde association with them (excuse the obvious comparison)

    It’s been enlightening to glean some perspective on how some of these musicians have balanced or rationalized their academic careers along with their musical aspirations.

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  3. T says:

    Liked it a lot. Stays away from the typical interview to a musician, and brakes the musician=rockstar lifestyle stereotype.
    After 4 years studying at the Conservatory of Music I decided to go to Med School, I love music, but I never regret becoming a pediatrician

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  5. Soccer Mom says:

    Right. It’s a nice change from the countless articles decrying the worthlessness of higher education that cite the number of successful dropouts as evidence. Still, it’s interesting to note that the only people chiming in on this have pursued some form of higher education themselves and–while I applaud their work–they still indulge in the kind of self-congratulatory attitude that compels most people to hate the fuck out of the educated class.

  6. Soccer Mom says:

    I guess what I was trying to say is: School is actually really cool but don’t be a dick about it.