This Harvard Student Submitted a Rap Album as His Thesis

This Harvard Student Submitted a Rap Album as His Thesis

Find out what grade the senior received.

Published May 19, 2017

While hip-hop culture has woven its way into academia in a plethora of ways over the years, with some rappers even inspiring college coursework dedicated to exploring their careers and influence, this year, Harvard University has a new, interesting first to acknowledge.

As reported, a senior at the esteemed Ivy League university is not only graduating with honors this year, but is doing so with his music. Interestingly enough, Obasi Shaw has officially become the first student in the university's storied history to submit a rap album as his senior thesis.

Shaw, a student from an Atlanta suburb, describes his new album as "a moody take on what it means to be Black in America."

Per Harvard's official Instagram account, Shaw's rap thesis, titled "Liminal Minds," combines elements of Middle English poetry with issues of racial identity in America. He received an A- for his work, and is guaranteed to graduate with honors next week as a result.

“[African-Americans are] free, but the effects of slavery still exist," Shaw shared in a statement. "Each song is an exploration of that state between slavery and freedom."

Additionally, the university said that following graduation, Shaw will move to Seattle for a one-year internship in software engineering. He also plans on keeping rap music as an impassioned hobby.

"Rap is a genre in which I can say everything I want to say," Shaw added. "I’ve been writing in different capacities, but I never felt that I found my art form until I started rapping."

Take a look at Harvard University giving props where props are beyond due in the post below and many congrats to Obasi Shaw on his outstanding accomplishments!

Written by KC Orcutt

(Photo: AP/REX/Shutterstock)


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