Instagram user @bigassheel (a.k.a. Raheel Ahmad), who will graduate from Temple University in Uzi’s hometown of Philadelphia next January, had a chance encounter with Uzi back in 2019 during which he received some added incentive and encouragement that helped him persevere.
“The time has finally come,” Raheel said in a clip recently shared to TikTok and Instagram. “I’ve made it through the four years at Temple, graduating with a 3.5 GPA. I’m sure you all remember this video of me asking Lil Uzi Vert at the mall if he could help pay for my college tuition. … I come from a big family and was raised by a single, widowed mother. Finances were always a struggle. After my dad passed away, we had to live paycheck to paycheck.”
The encounter in question was filmed in 2019 and saw Raheel ask Uzi about covering his tuition, to which the recent Meek Mill collaborator replied with a rundown of terms he would want to see being met.
“90 grand? I could pay for that,” Uzi said in the 2019 clip. “But this is the thing, though. If I pay for your college tuition, are you gonna finish college or are you gonna bullshit?”
At the time, Uzi also added that he would need to see transcripts and related papers. “If you don’t show me, you won’t get 90 grand. … You gotta show me proof,” he said.
Reflecting on that day in his latest video, Raheel explained just how important Uzi’s words were to him and how they ultimately inspired him to graduate.
“You may not know this, Uzi, but the day that we met at King of Prussia mall on August 22nd, 2019, I was not in a good place mentally,” he said. “But our one-minute interaction changed my life for the better. You have given me a sense of hope and optimism.”
The graduation ceremony is set to take place on Jan. 26 of next year. Raheel is inviting Uzi (who appeared to reference the tuition request in a tweet earlier this year) to join him in the celebration, noting that “dinner with the family” is on him. As he enters his chosen field of political science, Raheel is hoping to shine a light on how the financial burden of higher education hinders far too many people from realizing their dreams.
“College can’t be this expensive when it’s meant to be for a more stable and better future,” he said. “And as a political science major, I’m going to be using my platform to advocate for college tuition reform.”
At the time of this writing, it wasn’t clear whether Uzi had made further contact with Raheel regarding the tuition and/or his upcoming graduation. Complex has reached out to Raheel for additional comment and will update this post accordingly.
Speaking of education, Uzi recently paid a visit to “Demon High.” See more below.