The Huffington Post recently created a list entitled “If Rappers Were Colleges: Analogies You WON’T Find on the SAT,” which pairs universities with famous rappers. Comparing Princeton to Eminem, the rankings say that he (or we) are “The whitest of the truly elite.”
Our friends at PrincetonFML are ambivalent about the comparison.
One student writes, “If rappers were colleges, Eminem would be Princeton. OLAG?” Another says that “Jay-Z should be Princeton.” Unfortunately, the year Princeton loses its #1 spot on the U.S. News & World Report rankings is also the year that the HuffPo gives Jay-Z to Harvard.
But we think the analogy is apt beyond our pigment challenges. In 1896 our school changed its name from the College of New Jersey to Princeton University. Born Marshall Mathers, Eminem similarly assumed his rap name because it sounds cooler (M and M are his initials. Get it?). The first five Presidents of Princeton had untimely health issues and died within 20 years of one another. Eminem was abandoned by his father when he was 18 months old. Despite these tragic beginnings of contested nominal identities, both Princeton and Eminem have stood up as the real Slim Shadys.
So here’s some advice from our rapper/school (Princeton even has its research hands in #3).