“And If I’m scaring you brothers, if I’m scaring you. Just tell ’em I came to do the talking. You just came to listen.”

That’s an opening line in A.D. Carson’s Ph.D. dissertation at Clemson University. Mr. Carson, a doctoral student in rhetorics, communication, and information design, successfully defended his dissertation on Friday.

In lieu of the typical paper or project, Mr. Carson created a 34-track rap album, “Owning My Masters: The Rhetorics of Rhymes & Revolutions,” for the dissertation committee. His dissertation was more than just an album. His work included a timeline of social movements on campus, a blog, music videos, transcribed lyrics, and a peek into his compositional process. At his defense, he performed a four of his songs and showed one music video.
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