Wednesday, July 21

Hip. Also, Hop.

So a guy I know just won a freestyle rap competion, which is very cool. Here's an article that seamlessly weaves this topic with my main interest, science, and the dropping thereof:

Droppin' Science: Hip Hop's Lyrical Roots

Being well-versed in scientific terminology, even nominally, was seen as a shortcut to being a good MC. “You gotta have actual knowledge of the world in order to understand the world,” RZA says. “The prior generation of rappers got all these slang terms from reading and studying books they bought from street peddlers, about everything from Kemet, the ancient name for Egypt, to the properties of matter from 100 years ago. Brothers would read them and turn it into music,” he says, adding, “There was a series of books called Pathways in Science that we all learned from in high school. Some of their verses are direct readings from those books.”


The Onion this week has a topical infographic.

Why Are We So Much Better Than All the Other MCs?

25% Roget's Dictionary of Similes, 3rd Edition
11% Frequently Remind audience who we are, what we're here to say
16% Provide trenchat observations on art of pimping
19% Believe our résumé speaks for itself
29% Fresh-ass breath

3 comments:

j-bird said...

Hey, this blog was started on my 20th birthday! So now that we have a cosmic connection, I'll go ahead and start commenting on your old posts like we're old friends. I love the internet!

Yeah, so I was listening to Zealots by the Fugees, and it's all physics-y!

like:

gaze into the sky and measure planets by parallax / check out the retrograde motion

behold, as my odes, manifold on your rhymes / two MCs can't occupy the same space at the same time

more powerful than gamma rays / my grammar pays


But then, in Vocab (another Fugees track), Lauryn Hill says something about "sucks like a flat comb", and I was SURE she said "sucks like a black hole". Oh well.

Fraxas said...

In her defense, flat combs suck too.

Also: you're either an incredibly good markov chain spambot, or an actual real live person. On the internet! I thought I was the last one left!

Pharaohmagnetic said...

Yeah, dang, j-bird! Good to meet a cosmically-bonded interloper among the spambots.

The overlap between hip-hop and science is something that fills me with joy. I was aware of its prominence in the world of old-school hip hop, which was actually full of nerds. Recently, it's been confined to more out-of-the-way acts such as Deltron or TV on the Radio, which isn't even hip-hop. What I'm trying to say is, I will have to check out that Fugees track.