Harvard Senior Submits Rap Album For Senior Thesis, Passes With Honors

first_imgYou can listen to Shaw’s full thesis project, Liminal Minds, below via Shaw’s SoundCloud:[h/t – Pigeons and Planes] When you think of Harvard University, one of the world’s most prestigious institutes for higher learning, the first thing that comes to mind is probably not “hip-hop.” But thanks to an undergraduate student, the nearly 400-year old school has gotten a new lesson in the art of rap. Senior Obasi Shaw, class of 2017, recently submitted Harvard’s first-ever “rap thesis,” Liminal Minds, a compilation of hip-hop tracks that examines issues of racial identity in America through the lens of Middle English poetry (particularly Geoffrey Chaucer‘s Cantrerbury Tales). “Some people don’t consider rap a high art form,” Shaw told the Harvard Gazette last week. “But poetry and rap are very similar. Rhyming poems were very common in old English poetry.”As the 20-year-old rhymes on the project, “A nation due for inspection, this is the audit, herein; Lies the fear in the eyes of our departed dearly/Cold bodies facing .22, man in blue.” Explains Shaw, “[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.”According to an Instagram post from Harvard University’s account, Liminal Minds was the first submission of its kind. However, after Shaw was granted one of the school’s highest levels of honors for his hip-hop thesis, it’s likely that it won’t be the last. You can read the school’s post about Shaw’s unique project below:last_img

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