• News
  • National

Harvard student submits a hip-hop album as his final dissertation

Harvard student submits a hip-hop album as his final dissertation

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. Spurred on by the suggestion, Shaw took to recording the album, rather than writing a collection of essays or poetry. He credits his mother, who had noticed his knack for the art form when he performed at open mics on campus, for having given him the idea to do a rap album for his honours thesis.

The 10-track album is inspired by Chaucer's Canterbury Tales with the current race issues.

Shaw, who was managing editor of the Harvard Ichthus, a journal of Christian faith, and a member of the Christian group Harvard Faith and Action, prepared for his album by listening to mainstream rap and studying the history of rap which was birthed among blacks in working-class neighborhoods of NY in the 1970s.

Senior students at Harvard aren't usually expected to write dissertations but if they want to graduate with honors, it is required.

As Shaw described, the labor took "a little over a year" and was submitted for final analysis back in March.

When you think of Harvard University, one of the world's most prestigious institutes for higher learning, the first thing that comes to mind is probably not "hip-hop".

Obasi Shaw wrote the album, titled Liminal Minds in a year.

Samsung to unveil world's first 'stretchable' display panel
That might still be a pipe dream, but Samsung's display making arm wants to go one step further at Display Week 2017 tomorrow. The former technology uses is a 5.09-inch display which can be utilized for 3-D pop-up book, 3-D game and virtual reality.

Trump tweets warning to Comey about 'leaking to the press'
Fisher was assistant attorney general for the department's criminal division under President George W. The FBI director serves a 10-year term but can be replaced by the president.

Mourinho names United's youngest ever Premier League line-up
Jose Mourinho does not believe Manchester United's young players are ready for this weekend's baptism of fire against Crystal Palace.

"The fact that it was these ordinary people telling their own stories just really appealed to me", Shaw said of the 14th-century classic.

"Rap is a genre in which I can say everything I want to say".

As a devout Christian, Shaw enjoyed Christian rap for most of his youth.

Shaw's thesis adviser, English lecturer Josh Bell, called Shaw an "artist".

"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", said Bell. Kendrick Lamar's album To Pimp A Butterfly, as well as Nas' Illmatic, were both added to the Harvard Library in an "acknowledgement of their cultural significance".

The complete album and its lyrics are available for free online. Until then he'll be working at Google as a software engineer.

Leave Your Comment

Leave Your Comment


Latest News

  • Supreme Court rules NC congressional districts gerrymandered

    Supreme Court rules NC congressional districts gerrymandered

    North Carolina lawmakers drew the new borders after the 2010 Census provided an indicator towards racial considerations. We hope Monday's court ruling helps propel agreement on the need to revamp our redistricting process.
    Charlie Hunnam chats about King Arthur, Sons of Anarchy

    Charlie Hunnam chats about King Arthur, Sons of Anarchy

    Now, David Beckham is following in Vinnie's boots from the pitch to the big screen in Ritchie's brand new film. One such project that once captured his attention is the sequel to David Ayer's Suicide Squad.
    West Ham fans urge Bilic to give youngster a chance next season

    West Ham fans urge Bilic to give youngster a chance next season

    Meanwhile, Winston Reid has undergone surgery on his knee in a bid to be ready for the new season. I will never give up if you are asking about Andy, but that situation has to improve".
  • Lea Michele cried after meeting her 'idol' Celine Dion

    Lea Michele cried after meeting her 'idol' Celine Dion

    The track became iconic as the theme song for the blockbuster film, Titanic , and won an Academy Award for best original song. After he heard the recording, Cameron chose to keep it at the end.
    Gibson out, Bernier makes 1st playoff start in net for Ducks

    Gibson out, Bernier makes 1st playoff start in net for Ducks

    While Nashville managed 2-0 and 3-1 leads, there was plenty of drama in this one, as the Ducks did not go down easily. The Ducks got within 2-1 on Ondrej Kase's point-blank wrister from Getzlaf at 4:45 of the second period.

    Preds Rally Past Ducks 2-1, Reclaim Series Lead

    But his team continued to press into the third and was rewarded when Forsberg converted the rebound of a shot by Ryan Ellis. John Gibson has given up 34 goals on 382 shots faced and Jonathan Bernier has allowed four goals on 45 shots.
  • The new 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' poster is getting roasted by the internet

    The new 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' poster is getting roasted by the internet

    Spider-Man: Homecoming's third trailer is out and our beloved Spidey is out looking for work in the streets. From the looks of the trailer, he is determined to bring down Stark and Parker is collateral damage.
    Rebel Wilson vows to tell all during court case

    Rebel Wilson vows to tell all during court case

    Rebel Wilson walks from the Supreme Court after day one of her defamation trial against Bauer Media . Hollywood movie star Rebel Wilson has rapped a hallucinated Oscar acceptance speech in court.
    Monaco claim first title in 17 years with St Etienne win

    Monaco claim first title in 17 years with St Etienne win

    Monaco secured their first Ligue 1 title since 2000 with a 2-0 home win against Saint-Etienne in a rescheduled match. Bernardo Silva has set his sight on the move to the Old Trafford next season, according to reports from Canal+.
  • Grand Theft Auto V Surpasses a Whopping 80 Million Units Sold

    Grand Theft Auto V Surpasses a Whopping 80 Million Units Sold

    Fans are starting to wonder if the only way to actually see another Grand Theft Auto game is for GTA V to actually stop selling. More than three years on and it seems enthusiasm for the title is still continuing with over 80 million units shipped.

    Trump Called Comey 'Nut Job;' Russia Probe Identifies Current White House Staffer

    Reports of a memo from Comey indicating Trump had asked him to drop an investigation into Flynn rocked Washington and Wall Street. Trump's investigation in light of the rapid-fire sequences of events taking place since Comey's firing more than a week ago.
    Nuclear Crisis: Trump gives condition for N/Korea talk

    Nuclear Crisis: Trump gives condition for N/Korea talk

    On Wednesday a pro-Pyongyang newspaper based in Japan urged Moon to forsake the security alliance with the United States. South Korean President also said that North's nuclear and missile capabilities seem to have advanced rapidly.
  • Google's AlphaGo now on the Go

    Google's AlphaGo now on the Go

    This is also why experts thought having an AI win at Go was going to take at least another decade, before AlphaGo was created. The game can't be found on numerous most-watched streaming services in China, such as Tencent Video and Sina.com.
    Palestinians strike in support of prisoners in Israel

    Palestinians strike in support of prisoners in Israel

    The United Nations has urged Israel to abide by the global law and standards of detention in regard to the Palestinian prisoners. The Israeli man later told Israel's Channel 2 that the Palestinian he shot in self-defense "almost lynched" him.

    The Hidden Bombshell In The Comey-Trump Story

    Former FBI Director James Comey wasn't the only one eager to avoid an embrace from President Donald Trump. Reines' tweet appears to be a response to the Times' Comey story.
  • Monaco: Mbappe has no price

    Monaco: Mbappe has no price

    Real Madrid , Manchester United and Liverpool are among those to have already been linked to the France global . Nevertheless, it will be a kicker to said nuts if he does indeed leave.

    Preds win from ousting Ducks to reach 1st Stanley Cup Final

    But as the day wore on, the injuries kept mounting with Nashvilles Mike Fisher and Anaheims Rickard Rakell also missing the game. We know we have a good team and we can come back, so we have to play well defensively and play our system and we should be OK".
    Irish PM to step down, succession contest begins

    Irish PM to step down, succession contest begins

    Then they have to convince parliamentary party members they're the right person for the job. He did not disclose the reason for his resignation, but it had been expected.

Breaking News



Recommended

TPP members agree to pursue deal without US

Japan is also pushing for unity among the so-called TPP 11, saying the benefits of the deal go beyond the US's involvement. Aiming to lead the discussions, Japan held bilateral talks with some of the remaining countries in the Vietnamese capital.

Snapchat Introduces Another New Feature for Instagram to Copy

Now Snapchat users will be able to create a custom story and invite friends to contribute to the collection, the firm said. If you're unfamiliar with Snap's platform, Stories are user-generated photo and video posts that disappear after 24 hours.

Issa Says Heartland Decision is Victory Against Patent Trolls

In this case, it was a technology company that spurred the ruling, but a legal tussle between TC Heartland LLC and Kraft Heinz Co. Supreme Court on Monday put strict limits on where patent infringement lawsuits can be filed.

US extends protected status for Haitians until January

Yet President Trump's administration now is on the verge of inflicting more misery on Haiti and the Haitian American community. Some may be eligible for other immigration statuses. "Six months is not an extension", Fanm Ayisen Nan Miyami tweeted.

Indian Army strikes Pakistani military posts across LoC to stop infiltration

Who will ensure that sufficient pressure is put on Pakistan that makes them stop sending terrorists into India day in and day out. Major Genral Narula said instance of infiltration are likely to increase with the melting of snow.

Celtics win NBA draft lottery, Lakers at No. 2 keep pick

With the 7th pick, Dennis Smith Jr., D'Aaron Fox and Frank Ntilikina will all likely be available if they want to select one . The Kings also have the No. 10 pick from the Pelicans as a result of the February trade involving all-star DeMarcus Cousins.

Colorado expecting as much as 3 feet of snow in certain areas

A May snow dump across Colorado has prompted some emergency warming shelters to re-open after being closed for the season. The heaviest rate of snow and greatest chance of slippery conditions around Denver will continue through Friday morning.

David Ayer In Early Talks To Direct 'Scarface' Reboot

This is the experience of David Ayer, whom Deadline reports is in talks to direct the latest iteration of Scarface for Universal. The film has been slated for a 2018 release and originally had Antoine Fuqua in the mix to direct.

Arsene Wenger Offers Clue On Timing of Arsenal Future Statement

The Frenchman told reporters that no decision will be made until after the Gunners' FA Cup final clash against Chelsea on May 27. Arsenal has been playing well lately, winning four straight league games , but its rebound may have come too late.

Aric Almirola to miss next 8-12 weeks with broken back

Almirola was involved in a fiery crash during Saturday night's NASCAR race at Kansas Speedway. When I stand up it feels better because it elongates the spine.