Understanding the impact that HBCUs have on African-American youth, The Home Depot has committed to revitalizing HBCU campuses through its Retool Your School Campus Improvement Grant Program. To date, the program has awarded over $2 million towards campus improvement projects to help sustain our nation’s HBCUs, ensuring that their legacy and contributions to the larger culture of the United States continue on.

Many whisper about the sort of controlled chaos that exists during homecoming, but only HBCU students and alumni can truly speak to the weekend’s significance. For many students of color homecomings are a concentrated dose of life on campus; a seamless stretch of parties and pride soundtracked by the music of the moment. As HBCUs are seen as centers of blackness and cultural shifts, their celebration of black music is as natural as it is necessary, given that black artists often shoulder the same responsibilities.

Throughout the years, the love has been reciprocated. Whether it be Drake shouting out Jackson State and Grambling’s marching bands on If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, or Beyonce bringing the traditional black homecoming experience to Coachella Valley, the culture’s biggest superstars have always displayed appreciation for black universities, even in spaces where there may not be a single HBCU grad in sight.

As the fall semester has come and gone, now feels like an appropriate time to dig through the crates and revisit hip-hop’s two-decade-long love affair with historically black colleges and universities.