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    Saturday, May 20, 2017

    Harvard Student Makes History, Submits Rap Album As Final Year Thesis. Pictured

    A Harvard student has become the first in the university's history to submit a rap album for his senior thesis. Student Obasi Shaw, who will graduate from the prestigious university next week, produced his album Liminal Minds while other classmates wrote novels, poems, and short stories. 

    The 10-track album is the first to be submitted as a senior thesis at the university, and weaves inspiration from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales with the current race issues.

    Mr Shaw was awarded a summa cum laude minus mark for his album - the second highest grade a student can receive in the department. 

    "[African-Americans are] free, but the effects of slavery still exist," Mr Shaw told the Harvard Gazette. "Each song is an exploration of that state between slavery and freedom." 

    The Atlanta-born student was taught at home by both of his Harvard graduate parents, and credits his mother with the idea of creating a rap thesis.

    Mr Shaw grew up listening to Christian rap, and started to listen to more well-known rappers such as Kendrick Lemar and Chance the Rapper only two years ago. 

    He was inspired by the rappers' treatment of race, black identity and religion. 

    Mr Shaw said: "Some people don’t consider rap a high art form, but poetry and rap are very similar.

    "Rhyming poems were very common in old English poetry."

    Mr Shaw is not pursuing a career in music, and after graduating plans to intern for at a software engineering firm in Seattle. 

    Nevertheless, he will continue rapping as a hobby.

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