Archive for October 20, 2009

Dropping Science

Posted in All things music, Critique, Short Films on October 20, 2009 by klogtheblog

A while back some of the scientists at the Large Hadron Collider posted a rap video to the internet:

It has received some press and pulled in a not insignificant amount of traffic.  Now I like high-energy particle physics as much as the next guy, but unfortunately this rap is awful.

My issues with it are twofold:

1)  There is an unspoken premise that the rap is entertaining because it is about a technical subject and is sung by white people.  Those silly scientists!  How amusing, to see intelligent white people rap – because we all know that rap is really sung by black folks, who could never conceive of something as complex as a supercollider.  It’s a thinly veiled racist joke, and one that’s not even particularly funny.

2)  The rhymes are weak.  Just because you’re a white scientist doesn’t mean you get a pass on this.  The authors should not assume that they’ll be judged on a sliding scale compared to real hip-hop.  Again, race comes into play:  “Surely we can’t be held to the same standard as those negro rappers, since they have a natural affinity for all things rhythmic, as surely as we have a natural race-based affinity for science.”  Get a thesaurus or something, and don’t repeat whole verses over and over again.

My suggestions to the LHC folks who produced these broke-ass rhymes:

A)  Check out the Carl Sagan/Stephen Hawking Glorious Dawn video

Here somebody has made real art about science with a more palpable sense of wonder at the mechanisms of the universe.  I don’t doubt that you share this spirit of curiosity and awe, but please don’t conceal it under lazy writing and sloppy meter.

B)  Stick to your true business of opening a rift in space-time through which swarms of chitin-sheathed insect-demons will pour and feast on humanity.

–Steve Kilian

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