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Wu-Tang Clan's GZA Gives TED Talk on Hip-Hop and Science, Students Share Science Raps [Full YouTube Video]

Brad Bershad

by Brad Bershad

Published March 20, 2014

The GZA has co-founded SCIENCE GENIUS with Columbia University professor Christopher Emdin. It's an important initiative to the Wu-Tang Clan founding member, and something he seems genuinely excited about.

To begin the talk, GZA breaks down the meaning behind "Wu-Tang" by translating it to English. "Wu" means word, and "Tang" means sword, so Wu-Tang is about sharp words. I just learned something right there.

From there, the powerful MC talks about questions relating to science that he had as a kid, such as how electricity works. He tells an amazing story about how his brother put tweezers in an electrical outlet, and would have died if it hadn't been for the rubber soled sneakers he was wearing. One of the biggest things that GZA talks about is the importance of understanding sound, and how that relates to science as a whole. Specifically, he talks about physics and biology as places where sound can be understood through science, and vise versa.

After the talking section of the presentation, it's time to rap. GZA introduces students who made raps about science and are now finalists through a contest at the Rap Genius website. Alicia Duncan raps about gravity, Ryan Rivera raps about sexual reproduction, Victoria Richardson raps about Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, and Jabari Johnson raps about the physical laws of energy. After the student performances, GZA spat a verse from his upcoming album, Dark Matter.

My mind is blown.

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Source: TEDx Talks YouTube

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