FROM JASON’S SMUG GRIN — I groaned a little when Andrew popped the above link up on my desktop earlier today.
We have slightly different musical tastes — I like my electronica and indie, and he likes a wall of sound, the darker the better, plus the occasional rap song — so I didn’t really have high hopes when I heard a pretty prototypical gangsta beat.
I was only half-listening when unexpected terms and references started floating into my ears: Carl Sagan, Darth Vader. Atheism and deist propaganda. Richard Dawkins. Stephen Hawking.
“Look at how they’re indoctrinating kids/They believe in Santa Claus for adults, that’s what it is” and “If you believe this planet’s 6,000 years old, then damn, you’re stupid/And I don’t really need nothin’ to rhym with that.”
What I heard was rap with a conscience and a message neither thuggin’ nor blingin’. It was talking about something that I care about, and doing it with knowledgeable finesse.
It makes sense. The artist, Greydon Square, a.k.a. Eddie Collins, is a quantum physics major from Compton, Calif. That’s right; Greydon in his lyrics acknowledges that it’s not often you see someone from his social context studying Einstein, Dirac, Heisenberg, and Schrödinger.
But there it is in his song, A Rational Response: Pascal’s Wager, micro and macroevolution, a defense of carbon dating, Grand Unified Theory, and even a cameo by the Flying Spaghetti Monster himself.
Greydon’s real pet peeve, though, is religion.
His rants are logical (Molotov: “Look at holes in your religion, look at the cracks/Infinite Regression prevents a God from even existing”); social (Pandora’s Box: “You’ve been spoon fed belief and you don’t even see it/You just absorbed the religion that’s native to your region”); and anti-deterministic as he decries the Calvinist paradox of Christian mythology (Extian: “What kind of sense does it make?/To create a sinful creation that you judge from the gate/And then send your only son to prohibit the fate/That you ultimately responsible for”).
He even slides into the political spectrum. Molotov hints that Greydon believes Osama bin Laden is just another Emmanual Goldstein propped up by the American religious right — especially a certain god-fearing Republican president and his broccoli-eating father.
He also takes the time in A Rational Response (and even more so in Address) to casually bitch-slap his his neo-conservative critics’ hypocritical ways.
“I’m (gonn)a make the fundies hate me/They gon’ need a new reason to shut down rap/But they wont shut down rap that degrades women though, huh.”
Andrew says Greydon appears on a recent episode of The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe — which I’m heading to check out right now — and comes off as incredibly intelligent and well-spoken. I’m going to go ahead and preemptively recommend you listen, too.