Writing a dissertation is tough work – it’s a lot of writing, that. Lots of late nights, lots of Red Bull, lots of carpel tunnel, lots of stress and lots of not-going-out-for-like-four-months – I’m certainly not jumping at the chance to do it ever again.
But why, what a fool I was – why write my dissertation? Why not make a rap album instead and submit that? Genuinely a lot easier. That’s what bright spark Obasi Shaw did over at Harvard University: he wrote a 10-track mixtape called Liminal Minds, and then popped it in the in-tray in the office. Then he got an A- for it.
Here, you can listen to it below if you like (I would have given him a C+, but that’s cos the beats don’t bang hard enough, imho):
Shaw said that it combines "elements of Middle English poetry with issues of racial identity in America", and that it took him a year to write. Although there can’t be the same amount of words in a rap album as there are in a 20,000 word dissertation, and I bet it was a lot more fun to make too.
If there are, say, 400 words in a rap song, and 10 tracks on an album – that’s an average of 4,000 words. That’s quite a lot less than 20,000. And also, he didn’t even have to do the production – he out-sourced it. This guy’s doing uni right.
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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To be honest, I’m pretty annoyed I didn’t think of this first. My wicked Italian Neoclassical and 19th-century art-themed mixtape would have been 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥