To graduate, most undergrad college students have to grapple with a final stressful, enormous workload at the end of their senior year, but usually that means hitting the books rather than hitting the studio. Well, times have changed: a Harvard student is graduating with top honours after submitting a hip-hop album, which is a first in the history of the venerable institution.
Over the course of his final year, 20-year-old Harvard student/soon-to-be-graduate Obasi Shaw wrote, produced, and released a 10-track hip-hop album called Liminal Minds as his final undergraduate thesis. The album earned him the second-highest honours his department could grant: a summa cum laude minus. Hm, guess the snares could’ve been a little crisper or something, but still, not bad!
Each of Liminal Minds’ ten tracks are rapped from the perspective of a different character, a technique Shaw says was inspired by The Canterbury Tales. Well, he definitely knows his audience.
Shaw, who’s originally from suburban Atlanta, didn’t need to submit a final thesis project to graduate, but for any Harvard student who wishes to finish their post-secondary education with extra honours, it’s a necessary step.
Listen to Liminal Minds in full below, and decide for yourself if it bangs summa cum loud: