A senior at Harvard University is earning praise – and an honors degree – for his debut rap album.
Harvard officials say Obasi Shaw is the first student in the university’s history to submit a rap album as a senior thesis in the English department.
Shaw is from an Atlanta suburb and describes his album as a moody take on what it means to be black in America.
The album draws on Geoffrey Chaucer’s 14th-century classic The Canterbury Tales and other literary works. It received the equivalent of an A-minus grade, enough to guarantee Shaw will graduate with honors next week.
Shaw says he was surprised by the positive response from Harvard.
Rap and hip-hop have drawn growing academic interest from colleges, some of which now offer minors in hip-hop studies.