Harvard student raps his final thesis - first in school's history

Harvard student Obasi Shaw submitted a rap album for his final thesis.
Harvard student Obasi Shaw submitted a rap album for his final thesis.PHOTO: TWITTER/OBASI SHAW

Harvard student Obasi Shaw's thesis rhymes and has a sick beat.

The 20-year-old is the first in Harvard's history to produce a rap album for his final thesis.

His album, Liminal Minds, was awarded the second highest grade in the English Department - summa cum laude minus, reports said.

The 10-track creation is inspired by poet Geoffrey Chaucer's most famous work - The Canterbury tales, written in 14th century.

Each song is told from a different character's perspective and focuses on black identity in America, British news site The Independent said.

Shaw could have written poetry, a novella or an essay, but his mother suggested he write rap songs, after he performed rap at some campus events.

"My mum suggested that I write a rap album and I thought that would never work, they would never accept that," he told BBC.

But they did.

"There's something especially powerful about telling people's stories in their language or in the medium that they have created," he said.

But Shaw is not pursuing a music career after graduation, the talented young man has got a job at tech giant Google.