Astrophysicist v flat-Earth rapper… the hip-hop feud you never thought you’d see
Rapper B.o.B. insists that round-Earthers are a bunch of crazies. Celeb astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson naturally disagrees... Where will this beef end?
The truth is way out there: Atlanta MC B.o.B.
The internet commentariat raised a collective eyebrow this week when rapper B.o.B. laid out his theory that the Earth is flat. To be clear; this is not a metaphor, he literally believes planet Earth is flat.
In dozens of increasingly irate tweets, the Atlanta MC, born Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr, gave new meaning to the term anti-global protester, by urging the public to consider his evidence; a bizarre mess of diagrams and statistics, accompanied by the occasional photo montage of astronomers he claimed were masons.
Unperturbed by the arguments of modern science (or ancient Greek science for that matter) B.o.B.’s campaign gathered enough steam to be noticed by everyone’s favourite cosmological crush, Neil deGrasse Tyson. The physicist and broadcaster took time out from directing the Hayden Planetarium to critique a few points, to which B.o.B. shot back “r u a mason?”.
Not one to let things lie, B.o.B. responded with perhaps the world’s first anti-physics diss track, Flatline (which has since disappeared from B.o.B’s Soundcloud page - read the lyrics here). Astoundingly, in a whiplash of hot mics not seen since Biggie v Tupac, Tyson then followed suit with his own battle track entitled Flat to Fact. Prefaced with his own spoken voice, the track features Tyson’s nephew, Stephen, repping the avuncular astrophysicist and slamming B.o.B.’s shaky grasp of science.
While this was a laudable thought, the track itself lurches from charming dorkiness to genuinely life-threatening levels of cringe. So far, those who’ve survived listening to it agree that it boasts all the lacerating street-cred of an ad for Glade Plug-Ins.
But, before we hand B.o.B’s the crown, it should be noted that his having neglected to call the track Flatline Bling was only the second most egregious thing about his own track, as the following lyrics prove;
They nervous, but before you try to curve it
Do your research on David Irving
This endorsement of Irving, the notorious holocaust denier and one of the world’s few legally proven racists, tipped the scales a little too far toward ickiness for B.o.B.’s naivety to seem quite so funny.
Bizarrely, B.o.B. is not alone in these kinds of views. Eerie reality-TV humanoid Tila Tequila has previously tweeted her belief in a flat Earth, while Terrence Howard took to Rolling Stone last year to confirm he has developed his own form of maths predicated on the belief that 1x1=2.
And it shouldn’t be forgotten that in the 1990s, Foo Fighters expressed support for the theory that Aids is a myth created by the government and drugs companies.
This doesn’t, however, mean we necessarily need to throw out all our favourite records and movies. As Tyson said himself: “Duude, to be clear. Being five centuries regressed in your reasoning doesn’t mean we all can’t still like your music.”
Although as a paid-up Illuminati lizard-mason, he would say that, wouldn’t he?