Atlanta-born Harvard student, Obasi Shaw, has become the first in the university’s history to submit a rap album for his senior thesis.
He mentioned that he was taught music at home by both of his Harvard graduate parents, and much credits to his mother with the idea of creating a rap thesis.
Shaw titled the 10-track album “Liminal Minds” and it is the first to be submitted as a senior thesis at the university, and weaves inspiration from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales with the current race issues.
Mr Shaw, who grew up listening to Christian raps, and 2 years ago became a fan of rappers such as Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper, was awarded a summa cum laude minus mark for his album – the second highest grade a student can receive in the department.
According to Shaw:
“(African-Americans are) free, but the effects of slavery still exist. Each song is an exploration of that state between slavery and freedom. Some people don’t consider rap a high art form, but poetry and rap are very similar. Rhyming poems were very common in old English poetry.”
Surprisingly, Shaw is not pursuing a career in music, but plans to intern at a software engineering firm in Seattle after graduating.
He however sees rapping as a hobby.
Written by Clement Oluwasegun