Celebrating Geekiness

It's always jolting to wake up and find yourself on the other side of the generation gap. Hip-hop is a genre of music that I don't "get."  The raw language and some of the fashion statements involved (e.g. the untied shoelaces, unbelted pants sliding dangerously south) have very sad origins (In jail, apparently, prisoners must remove  belts and shoelaces...) So, when I see rich teenagers wearing some of the more extreme hip hop fashions, I don't know whether to laugh or to feel very angry. Parental reactions aside, it is an unstoppable and global force--there are likely rap groups in Kazakhstan--- there are some artists who do it sensitively, and some of them are clearly very gifted....so I'll keep an open mind and learn more about it. But I recently discovered (about a year and a half later than the rest of the world, apparently) that  gangstas aren't the only ones rapping. In case you are similarly behind the curve, I present some tidbits of "geeksta rap."  California-based chemical engineer Rajeev Bajaj  is one of the pioneers in this "space," with lyrics celebrating science, engineering, computer science.  For a sampling of some of his songs, click here. (I liked Free Energy and Metamorphosis) . Another artist is "MC Frontalot" (Here's a sampling from MC+: "Chip Hop" and "cryptography rap" for the hard-core nerd).   In fact, nerd rap has become so mainstream that even Weird Al Yankovic is doing it, as evidenced by his new video: White n' Nerdy. which includes every stereotype in the book (including the sacred pocket pen protector and the view of white guys as nerds...but in reality the geek nation, like the hip hop nation, knows no racial or national boundaries).