Tay Keith has become an honorary professor at his alma mater, Middle Tennessee State University.
The Grammy-nominated producer took to Instagram on Thursday to share photos of him in a recording studio speaking with young people and holding his honorary certificate.
“From the days I was struggling in class failing trying to get candidacy for the college of recording industry to coming back and becoming a honorary professor show you that hard work with passion pay off,” wrote the producer of smashes like Lil Baby’s “Never Recover,” Drake’s “Nonstop,” and BlocBoy JB’s “Look Alive.”
Tay continued: “S/O my alma mater acknowledging me and my team and letting me come educate and motivate the youngins who in the same shoes i was in just a few years ago. Respect always been some thats earned and it aint given and real ones always win in the end.”
Drumatized Records—Tay Keith’s label—is also starting an internship program with MTSU which opened a new recording studio, where students will get the opportunity to work directly with Drumatized and its executive staff on learning about the music industry business through royalty splits, publishing, BMI submissions, and more. A rep for Drumatized told Complex that in the spring Keith and the label will be giving students a special experience of visiting different cities to work with artists and producers as well.
This accomplishment reflects something Tay Keith told Complex back in 2019 when discussing what’s next for him after music. “When I hit 50, I want to go be a professor. So, hopefully I have my degrees by then. You know, mature. Get a little bit older and shit, realize some more things, be a bit more wiser, and get my degrees. I’ll be a professor,” he said.
According to MTSU’s website, Keith graduated from the Murfreesboro-based school in 2018 with degrees in integrated studies and media management, the same year he became Grammy-nominated for his work on Travis Scott’s Astroworld cut “Sicko Mode.”
“There wouldn’t be any point for me to come to college if I didn’t want to finish it—I could have just focused 100% on music. By my last week of college, I had my first number-one single, so it didn’t make any sense to drop out,” he told Middle Tennessee State in an interview.