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Ivy grad Obasi Shaw made Havard University history with ‘Liminal Minds.’

Obasi Shaw, a 20-year-old senior will be graduating from Havard University with one of the highest honors after submitting a 10-track Hip-Hop album entitled Liminal Minds for his final thesis. Shaw’s album submission is the first of its kind in the history of the university.

Shaw’s mother sparked the unique idea for the student, after she noticed her son’s passion for writing lyrics and performing in open-mic shows on campus.

Liminal Minds is told from a different character’s perspective, a format inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer’s seminal 14th century piece, The Canterbury Tales, and focuses on black identity in America.

In Shaw’s first track, Declaration of Independence, he writes: “Behold, what we hold is three-fold—Body and spirit to be thrones for free souls. Self is the evidence, please close the freak shows, And depose the evils, our peoples are equals.”

After graduating Shaw will be working for Google as a software engineer. His album is available online for free.

Obasi Shaw ’17 submitted Harvard’s first rap thesis, “Liminal Minds,” which combines elements of Middle English poetry with issues of racial identity in America. “[African-Americans are] free, but the effects of slavery still exist,” says Shaw. “Each song is an exploration of that state between slavery and freedom.”⠀

After graduation, Shaw will move to Seattle for a one-year internship in software engineering. As for rap, he’ll keep it as a treasured hobby. “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.”⠀

#Harvard #Harvard17

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