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.