Harvard Student Graduates With Honors After Submitting Mixtape As His Dissertation

Photo of Obasi Shaw courtesy of Instagram.

Obasi Shaw is a 20-year-old originally from Stone Mountain, Georgia. He recently graduated from Harvard University, with honors. And he did it in a way we’ve never seen before.

To graduate from Harvard with honors you need to submit a dissertation. Now, a dissertation is usually a collection of short stories or poems or maybe a deeply researched and reported persuasive essay. Instead of doing any of those things, however, Shaw submitted a ten track mixtape called Liminal Minds as his dissertation. 

Not only was the mixtape so good it was accepted, but Shaw received a grade of A- minus for it and a shout out on Harvard’s official Instagram page:

Liminal Minds is a pretty creative album. Like mentioned before, the tape is only ten songs and each track focuses on a different aspect of the black struggle in America.

Speaking to Elite Daily about the tape, Shaw says:

It’s been disorienting because I just submitted it as my thesis. I just didn’t expect anything to come of it. I had been sharing it with friends. No more than 100 people had heard it.

After he passed, Shaw put the tape on his SoundCloud, and he’s gotten hundreds of thousands of views since. 

As for what’s next, Say is taking his talents to a different career. Next year he will be interning for Google in Seattle.

H/T: Elite Daily

Dimas Sanfiorenzo

Dimas Sanfiorenzo is the Managing Editor for Okayplayer. He specializes in coverage centered around music, pop culture, and politics. Email:

Published by
Dimas Sanfiorenzo

Recent Posts

The 24 Best Spike Lee Movies

You can’t talk about Black movies without mentioning Spike Lee. In honor of the famed… Read More

March 20, 2023

Jordan Peele is Prepping His Fourth Film For Christmas 2024

Following his first three directorial films, Get Out, Us and Nope, Jordan Peele is releasing… Read More

March 20, 2023

Three Men Convicted of Murdering XXXTentacion

Michael Boatwright, Dedrick Williams and Trayvon Newsome were all found guilty in the 2018 murder… Read More

March 20, 2023

Founding Parliament-Funkadelic Member, Clarence ‘Fuzzy’ Haskins, Has Died

Founding Parliament-Funkadelic singer Clarence 'Fuzzy' Haskins, who later began a solo music career in the… Read More

March 20, 2023

Best Videos To Drop Last Week: JID, Doechii, Metro Boomin & More

Last week video releases from JID, Doechii, Metro Boomin, 21 Savage, and more were on… Read More

March 20, 2023

Little Simz Releases New Documentary ‘On Stage Off Stage’

New Little Simz documentary On Stage Off Stage follows the UK rapper on the European leg… Read More

March 20, 2023