Harvard grad student Obasi Shaw has paved a new scholastic path, graduating from the Ivy League school with honors after submitting a rap album for his final thesis. The 10-track album titled Liminal Minds — which is the first-ever in Harvard’s illustrious history — took over a year for 20-year-old Shaw to complete. Each song is told from the perspective of a different character, supposedly inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales and Shaw’s mother. It focuses on black identity in America and was awarded summa cum laude minus, which is the second highest grade in the department. After graduating, Shaw will be working for Google as a software engineer. Check out the album below.
Obasi Shaw ‘17 submitted Harvard’s first rap thesis, “Liminal Minds,” which combines elements of Middle English poetry with issues of racial identity in America. “[African-Americans are] free, but the effects of slavery still exist,” says Shaw. “Each song is an exploration of that state between slavery and freedom.”⠀ ⠀ After graduation, Shaw will move to Seattle for a one-year internship in software engineering. As for rap, he’ll keep it as a treasured hobby. “Rap is a genre in which I can say everything I want to say,” Shaw said. “I’ve been writing in different capacities, but I never felt that I found my art form until I started rapping.”⠀ ⠀ #Harvard #Harvard17
- ROSE LINCOLN/HARVARD UNIVERSITY
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