Why write a boring thesis paper with pages and pages of information when you can rap one? That is exactly what this Harvard University student did, and the best part is that the university has accepted this thesis that comes with a twist.
Students at Harvard are often known to submit their thesis in the form of memoirs and novels, but Obasi Shaw has become the first student to submit a thesis in the English department as a rap album. The album is called "Liminal Minds" and includes 10 tracks, which mostly talk about how it is to be black in the United States and the treatment of blacks right from violence to slavery.
"I never thought it would be accepted by Harvard," the New York Post quoted Shaw as saying. "I didn't think they would respect rap as an art form enough for me to do it."
While Shaw may have initially had doubts, his adviser and English lecturer Josh Bell seems to have faith in the student. He called the 20-year-old a "serious artist" and "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, adding that it was a very interesting album.
Talking about how Shaw brought the album together, he said that he took a year to record it and his friends helped him with the beats. "I'm still not satisfied with the quality of the production just yet, but I'm constantly learning and growing," Shaw explained.
He said that he listened to Christian rap as a child and moved on to listening to Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper. He admired both these rappers and realised that through this genre he could really express what he felt. "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," he told the Harvard Gazette.
With the album, the student from Georgia, Atlanta, has earned an A-minus grade and will receive his honours next week. After graduation, Shaw intends to move to Seattle for an internship.