Multiplatinum recording artist and entrepreneur Earl “E-40” Stevens awarded honorary Doctor of Music degree

Above: Earl “E-40” Stevens was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree at Grambling State University by President Richard J. Gallot, Jr. during Spring 2023 Commencement Exercises. Photo by Carlton Hamlin
Grambling, La. – May 12, 2023 – Nearly 40 years after his days as a Grambling State University student, the rapper known as “E-40” finally walked across the stage Friday morning to receive a diploma during Spring 2023 Commencement Exercises at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center.
Earl “E-40” Stevens, a multiplatinum recording artist, actor, and entrepreneur who holds the record for most solo album entries on the Billboard 200 charts by a hip-hop artist (32), was presented with an honorary Doctor of Music degree by GSU President Rick Gallot.
Last February, Stevens donated $100,000  to benefit the Music Department, the World Famed Tiger Marching Band, and to help with upkeep of the newly-installed recording studio, which was named in his honor, at the Conrad P. Hutchinson Performing Arts Building.
“This means so much to me – I’ve come a long way,” Stevens said after being presented with the honorary doctorate. “I want to thank God first and foremost. This is a great honor to accept this honorary doctorate in music. I would live to express my appreciation to the administration and the academic community at Grambling State University. I’d also like to thank my family, my friends, and my colleagues for their unwavering support and encouragement throughout my career.”
“As you know, music has been a lifelong passion of mine and it’s an incredible privilege to be recognized for my contributions to the industry, especially on the 50th anniversary of hip-hop music. They said it wouldn’t last that long, but it’s been 50 years.”
He then briefly spoke of his time matriculating at GSU.
“My time on campus was some of the best experiences of my life,” Stevens said. “Grambling State really helped mold me to become the man, and entrepreneur that stands before you. I’m proud to set an example for the next generation of leaders, and I encourage everyone here today to use their experience here at Grambling State University to pursue their passions and achieve their dreams.”
Stevens has collaborated with fellow heavyweights such as Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, Big Sean and many more, He is also part of the hip-hop supergroup Mount Westmore that consists of Stevens, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and Too $hort that was profiled in the New York Times.
In 1986, as a student at Grambling State, Stevens also collaborated with another future superstar, fellow GSU student Erykah Badu, as they both matriculated at the university.
As an actor, “E-40” has shined in limited roles, most notably starring alongside Jamie Foxx in “The Jamie Foxx Show.”
Beyond his accolades as an entertainer, the Vallejo, California, native has become equally as successful as an entrepreneur, having built a robust empire in the wine and spirits industry.
Since pivoting into the adult beverage space in 2013, E-40 has launched over 15 different still and sparkling wine offerings under his “Earl Stevens Selections” line, a tequila (E. Cuarenta Tequila), a cognac (Tycoon Cognac), a bourbon (Kuiper Belt Bourbon), a gin (Kuiper Belt Gin), a variety of pre-mixed cocktails (Sluricane) and a golden lager beer (E. Cuarenta Cerveza) with more to come.
In 2021, he also launched his new food brand —called “Goon With The Spoon” — and kicked it off with new lines of packaged sausages and burritos. He expanded his “Goon With The Spoon” offerings in April 2022 by introducing a line of new ice cream that comes in six different flavors, including Cookie Dough, Bourbon Vanilla, Vanilla Bean, Strawberry, Mint Chocolate, and Salted Caramel.
Most recently, he unveiled a new soul food line of his “Goon With The Spoon” ice cream brand and subsequently introduced a new Chicken and Waffles ice cream flavor as the inaugural product.
Additionally, Stevens is the co-owner of The Lumpia Company, a growing Filipino food business with a restaurant in Oakland, a stand inside Oracle Park (the San Francisco Giants stadium), and a food truck in San Francisco.
He is also an avid investor and has helped fund more than 50 startups, including Clubhouse, SpaceX, Ring, and several others.
Stevens’ entrepreneurship has been featured in a wide array of business outlets, including Forbes, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, etc.