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A declaration of independence: first Harvard student to submit rap album as thesis receives honours

Obasi Shaw is an English major at Harvard University, and he’s just graduated with honours. The medium was a little different to what Harvard may be used to though, given that Shaw submitted a rap album instead of an essay, artwork or piece of creative writing.

Liminal Minds is mixed by amateurs and currently unmastered, but that doesn’t undermine its potency whatsoever. Shaw’s album is dedicated to the lasting oppression felt by black Americans, taking influence from canonical literature like Cantebury Tales as well as more modern poets the likes of Kendrick Lamar.

obasi shaw harvard student rap album

Breaking the mould: Harvard student Obasi Shaw has defied all expectations by submitting a rap album as his English thesis.

Check out the official statement from Harvard 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

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“Black people in America are kind of caught between freedom and slavery,” Shaw told the Gazette. “They’re free, but the effects of slavery still exist in society and in people’s subconscious. Each song is an exploration of black liminality, that state between slavery and freedom.”

Listen to Liminal Minds below:

Via Huffington Post.

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May 26, 2017