Obasi Shaw is the first student at Harvard University to submit a rap album for a thesis, and he just graduated with Honors.
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
The 20-year-old student created the 10-song project, Liminal Minds, over the course of about a year. Liminal Minds takes on a different character persona on each song and was inspired by both Shaw’s mother and Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.
After Harvard, Shaw will begin work as a software engineer for Google, so it seems the prospect of a future rap career is uncertain. For now, check out Liminal Minds below.