GZA’s love of science is no secret. The most cerebral lyricist in the Wu-Tang Clan, GZA’s upcoming album Dark Matter will include rhymes about the Big Bang, the theorized moment where the universe sprang from chaos.
Now, the legendary emcee wants to spread his love of science by teaming up with Columbia University Teachers College professor Christopher Edmin and ten New York City public schools to use Hip Hop to help teach the science curriculum for the schools.
“This is a response to achievement gaps in science and mathematics,” Emdin said to PBS. “It is a response to students’ disinterest in science, and more broadly to kids just not wanting to show up in school.”
The project, titled Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S., will have graduate students from Teachers College work closely with the public school students on their science raps. The project requires that the science be accurate, and that the lyrics rhyme. Student finalists battle each other at the end of the semester, and the battles will be judge by GZA, and published on Rap Genius.
“There are a lot of fly-by-night approaches to improve the classrooms, and the one thing they lack is cultural authenticity,” he said. Hip Hop is firmly rooted in urban culture, and GZA, says Edmin, “is the consummate cultural ambassador.”
Others may enter in a separate science Rap contest by submitting a science rap via YouTube. Details are available here.