Harvard Student Submits Rap Album As His Senior Thesis
Source - While other Harvard University students were writing papers for their senior theses, Obasi Shaw was busy rapping his. Shaw is the first student in Harvard’s history to submit a rap album as a senior thesis in the English Department, the university said. The album, called ‘‘Liminal Minds,’’ has earned the equivalent of an A-minus grade, good enough to guarantee that Shaw will graduate with honors next week.
Shaw’s thesis adviser, Harvard English lecturer Josh Bell, said Shaw is a ‘‘serious artist and he’s an amazing guy.’’ ‘‘He was able to turn around an album that people in the English Department would like very much but also that people who like rap music might like,’’ Bell said.
Shaw was at home for winter break in 2015, struggling to find a topic for a written thesis, when he told his mother, Michelle Shaw, about the creative thesis option. He had recently started writing his own raps and performing them at open-microphone nights on campus. His mother connected the dots and suggested he record an album for his thesis. It took Shaw more than a year to write the songs and record them at a studio on Harvard’s campus. His friends supplied many of the beats, while he taught himself how to mix the tracks into a polished product. Shaw plans to circulate the album online for free and hopes it opens doors to the music industry. In the meantime, he’s headed to Seattle to work as a software engineer at Google.
Sorry, Shaw- Kanye West already did this. The album’s called Graduation and it went double platinum. But you wouldn’t know that, being the Harvard nerd you are. As a UMass guy I want to hate Harvard kids, but I just can’t. They’ve consistently produced some of the most successful people on the planet; world leaders, nobel prize winners, smut-bloggers. It’s about time they put out a rap super star.
If history is any indication his beats should be pretty lit. Some of the most successful projects of all time got cooked up in the Harvard dorms (Facebook, ever heard of it?) There’s no reason Shaw’s beats should be any different. I wish I could’ve witnessed history and seen him spit at the campus open mic but I guess I’ll have to wait like the rest of the world. If for some reason rapping doesn’t work out he’s got a pretty solid back up plan- software engineering at Google. Personally, if I were dropping a mix tape I’d move to New York or LA, not Seattle. Then again, what do I know I didn’t go to Harvard. Keep an eye out for Shaw’s mix tape I’m sure it will have some bangers.
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