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Harvard student submits rap album as final year thesis

Harvard student submits rap album as final year thesis”

Shaw's final LP, Liminal Minds, was the first rap album to ever be submitted as a thesis in the prestigious school's almost 400-year history. Shaw, an English major who graduates from Harvard next week, is the university's first student to submit his final thesis in the form of a rap album.

How attractive the feet that walk the trail of tears, Bare-soled and bloodstained, on display for their peers;Do you know how it feels-to have your history erased?

A Harvard University senior is feeling good after receiving an A-, and an honors degree for his debut rap album. It was awarded the second highest grade in the department - summa cum laude minus. It received the equivalent of an A-minus grade, enough to guarantee Shaw will graduate with honors next week.

He says it was inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales and his own hobby of writing rap music and spoken word poetry.

"It's insane to me still that I wrote a rap album for my thesis", Shaw said.

But it wasn't until his mother suggested he use the lyrics he had written and performed at open mic nights on campus for his thesis that he started taking the idea seriously.

'I needed to learn what rap has meant to people for decades, ' he told Harvard Gazette.

As artists like Kendrick Lamar, Nas, Akala, Akua Naru and Loyle Carner are changing perceptions of rap and making it more conscious, the art form has been thrown into literary acclaim. But what makes the project even more impressive is he keeps the raps very "Black" as in you hear him in every track, not just news articles and book pages.

Harvard English lecturer and Obasi's thesis advisor, claimed that he was highly impressed the student's creation. Spurred on by the suggestion, Shaw took to recording the album, rather than writing a collection of essays or poetry. Harvard established a fellowship for scholars of hip-hop in 2013, and other schools including the University of Arizona have started to offer minors in hip-hop studies. In fact, he's heading to Seattle to work as a software engineer for Google.

The 20-year-old student was surprised by his success, stating, "I never thought it would be accepted by Harvard".



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