Update: That Neil deGrasse Tyson — not only is he an astrophysicist, he can also use the phrases “calculus and non-Euclidian geometry” and “growing anti-intellectual strain” and name check Isaac Newton “my man” in a blistering spoken word performance that makes you want to say, “A-men.”
Watch his monologue on the “Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.”
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To understand the now, let’s start at the beginning.
Since Sunday, hip hop artist B.o.B. (Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr.) has been tweeting about how the Earth is actually flat. Naturally, that drew the attention of renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who tweeted back at him with a few facts.
That soon led B.o.B to write an angry song called “Flatline,” which included such lines as “Indoctrinated in a cult called science/And graduated to a club full of liars/Heliocentrism, you were the sixth victim.” It also had this diss: “Aye, Neil Tyson need to loosen up his vest.”
Not to be outdone, Tyson said he may not rap, but he knows people who do. So today, he shared a track titled “Flat to Fact” by his nephew musician, Steve Tyson. It includes deGrasse Tyson reading some of his own tweets and lines like these: “I got science in my corner and there’s nothing to fear”; “I’m a high flier but you must be cloud walking”; “Bobby Ray thinking that flat is fact ... but we’re go from flat to fact.”
The song also manages to namecheck Donald Trump: “Is Donald Trump the one that’s feeding you all of these stupid bits of information keeping you on your knees?”
Ok, now you are prepared to experience the story. We’ll start with Tyson’s song.
Here’s B.o.B’s song (warning, explicit).
Here’s a sampling of B.o.B’s tweets.
And some of the responses by deGrasse Tyson.
Yeah, it’s all sorts of crazy. Science, music, history, Twitter — this story’s got it all.