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“Peer-reviewed rap” and more: five sources of music about science

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“Despacito,” but about evo-devo

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Last week, I profiled the rapper Dessa ahead of the release of her new album, Chime. Chime, I wrote, is inspired by science but not music “about” science; there are no songs explaining electrodes or brain waves.

So, where is all the music about science that uses science data or teaches some facts? Fear not, there are plenty of examples (in no particular order).

Every song on They Might Be Giants’ Here Comes Science
Okay, so the album is technically for children, but it’s groovy enough that you might not have guessed it if I hadn’t just told you.

The ClimateMusic Project
Artist Stephan Crawford runs a collective — two composers, four climate scientists — that creates music based on climate data. It holds concerts in the San Francisco Bay Area and hopes to expand worldwide.

Baba Brinkman’s peer-reviewed rap
The lyrics are checked for scientific accuracy, and the raps span a wide range of topics: consciousness, medicine, climate change, evolution. The New York Times reviewed his live show back in 2011: “both brainy and entertaining.”


A capella science
There’s an entire YouTube channel to peruse, but I’ll just leave this version of “Despacito” here.

Oh, and a certain Disney song that’s now about exoplanets.


Symphony of Science
This musical project is less about cramming facts, and more a celebration of popular science, remixing clips from well-known science educators like Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye.