Friday, April 25, 2014

Why is the sky blue? Why is the grass green?

Wu-Tang Clan's GZA recently gave a TEDx Teen talk about his love of science and the work he's done as co-founder of Science Genius, a nonprofit that engages high school students with science using hip hop. The pilot program met with great success in terms of recognition and results: participating schools saw an increase in regents exams scores and 15-25% in attendance. When asked who was his favorite Wu Tang member, Mayor Elect of New York City, Bill DiBlasio, said "GZA. Not only is he a great lyricist, but I also admire his work to engage African American and Latino students in the sciences."
The talk is called "The Genius of Science", and in the course of it, GZA addresses the etymology of the The Wu-Tang Clan ("'Wu' is the 'word'; 'Tang' is the tongue, or the sword. So it's about being lyrically sharp...") and the relationship between science and music ("each soul is tuned to a different pitch, and [music] is about harmonizing the soul"). It ends with students from the Science Genius program rapping about gravity, sexual reproduction, and natural selection.
-- read on Pitchfork
-- read on TIME
-- GZA's Rap-Lecture on Big Bang Theory at the University of Toronto
-- read about "A Hip-Hop Experiment"

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