NASA Joins The Rap Game

| 17 Aug 2011 19:20

Forget Compton, Brooklyn and Hotlanta. The hottest new MCs are straight reppin' Cape Canaveral.

With shuttle launches now a thing of the past, NASA finds itself with a lot of free time. As you well know, rocket science is incredibly dull, so instead someone at the space agency decided to create a rap video.

Admittedly, it's not exactly Otis, but it does a solid enough job of mapping out the history of the space shuttle and providing a primer on what exactly NASA does. At least when it's not experiencing audio issues or filling the screen with inexplicable posterization filters.

Of course, that doesn't really explain why this thing is a thing in our segment of reality. Maybe the PR email NASA sent out can help explain this baffling anomaly:

NASA Education created a historical rap video for the Space Shuttle just in time for back to school events.

Um ... okay? That didn't really explain anything, did it?

Alright, so now we have more questions than we did before. Obviously, there's still the "Why is NASA creating hip hop videos?" query, but now we must ask "Why does NASA think this is something crucial to the start of the new school year?"

I grasp the idea that space exploration, rocket science and the underlying physics behind what NASA does are wildly inaccessible to the average person, but I really don't think that baffling rap videos are the best way to inspire kids to look to the stars.

This thing might seem apropos in 1995 when stodgy corporate types still thought rap was a great way to show the youth that they were "down," but it's 2011. Our entire culture is now built on sarcasm and irony, and it certainly doesn't help NASA's case that the production values in play here smack of local cable access. From start to finish this entire concept is flawed.

Actually, I take back what I just said. NASA could make this work, but only if the track was penned by Andre 3000 and liberally sampled Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" and Public Enemy's "Fear of a Black Planet."

I would also accept a Pharcyde/Tilly And The Wall mashup, if Houston would prefer to aim for the indie crowd. NASA, call me and we can make this happen.

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