Next time you hear your young nephew or niece spitting some bars [do they still say that?] don’t tell them to keep that racket down, as you never know where it could lead. A 20-year-old Harvard Ivy League student is about to graduate with the second highest honour after submitting his rap album for his thesis.
Originally encouraged by his mum, Obasi Shaw, decided against writing the usual essay or poems etc, and put his lyrical skills to good use to write his album, Liminal Minds as he wanted to graduate with honours from his university, Harvard. His efforts were not in vain as he managed to get the second highest grade in the department – summa cum laude minus.
Shaw, who is originally from Stone Mountain, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta, was inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, but he turned the focus to black identity in America.
The talented young man was also motivated by the work of James Baldwin to talk about slavery and police violence. Other influences are current rappers, Kendrick Lemar and Nas.
Shaw’s English lecturer at Harvard “was highly impressed” with Shaw’s creation, “both as an academic piece and an artistic creation”.
So, what is the young rapper going to do after graduating? He’s heading to Google to become a software engineer!