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HBCU parents mentor daughter VanVan to viral rap career

One of the latest viral stars on social media is five year old Savannah McConneaughey, affectionately known as VanVan. Her popular rap videos have led her an opportunity to rap on the Tamron Hall Show, at the Kennedy Center for Queen Latifah and recently beside hip hop legend Snoop Dogg, The parents who helped her form her rhymes and manage her career are HBCU graduates from North Carolina A&T and Winston-Salem State University (WSSU).

Her father Reggie McConneaughey, is a high school history teacher in Salisbury, North Carolina, who graduated from NCAT, an HBCU in Greensboro, North Carolina. VanVan’s mother Tikenjna Mcconneaughey is a WSSU graduate.

When it was time to teach his daughter about counting and the ABCs, Reggie used beats to teach VanVan.

HBCU North Carolina A&T WSSU Snoop Dogg VanVanHBCU North Carolina A&T WSSU Snoop Dogg VanVan

“We would rap about numbers, colors, her alphabet. And that’s how — through music, that’s how I was teaching her to learn,” he told radio station WFAE.

Over time she’s developed her freestyle skills. She picks out her own beats and raps about whatever she is feeling. The two practice together wherever they are, in the car or at home.

Earlier this month she had an opportunity to drop some bars for Snoop Dogg about cleaning up chores, and the video exploded on social media. The video to date has over 1.7 million likes.

Dropping tracks with Snoop Dogg and more

It wasn’t just a chance meeting with Snoop Dogg, VanVan has already released a track with Snoop for his kids’ album “Doggyland.”

According to Reggie McConneaughey’s LinkedIn profile he spent time in the military before coming back home to pursue an education. He enrolled at North Carolina A&T in 2015, graduating from the HBCU four years later with a degree in African American History. He now teaches 9th grade world history.

Along with his wife, he now also runs the career and social media accounts for his daughter, who has over 610,000 followers on Instagram.

“When we walk down the street, people like, ‘Is that VanVan? Are you VanVan’s dad?’ We can’t go nowhere without anybody noticing her,” he told WFAE.

The McConneaugheys say they’ll let their daughter decide when she’s had enough of the spotlight if she wants to step away. But for now, she seems to be enjoying the process.

“I like to rap about myself. I like to rap about stuff that I like to do, and stuff that makes me happy,” she said. “When the beat drops, I just feel the beat and I just get a bar.”

She currently has a new single “My Daddy” along with Grammy-nominated producer and artist Fyütch and his daughter Aura V. This month she was also nominated as a BET Young Stars recipient for the 2024 BET Awards which will air on June 30.

HBCU parents mentor daughter VanVan to viral rap career

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