GZA and "Dark Matter"
Hip-hop icon The GZA (pronounced JIZ-ah), a founding member of multi-platinum rap group the Wu-Tang Clan, has a new project, an album dubbed "Dark Matter" is inspired by his long-standing interest in the quantum word and is designed to draw new audiences to science. "I see communicating the wonder of science as part of my life mission at this point. "GZA tells Newscripts. GZA, aka Gary Grice, is what you might call a Renaissance Rapper. His nickname is "The Genius." He lectures about the global state of hip-hop at Harvard University and MIT, arranging Tête-à-têtes with scientists during visits. And he's known for science-flavored rhymes: "Most rappers don't know diamonds are minerals, that they're crystalline, and that's what gives a diamond its shine. They talk about gold and they don't even know it's an element."
David Kaiser, a physicist and professor on the history of science at MIT, first met GZA last December, "He had tons of great questions," Kaiser says. "We talked about some classic paradoxes in quantum theory including the concept of Schödinger's cat."
Kaiser says he's not sure if anything they talked about has inspired some verse, but he's itching to listen to "Dark Matter", which drops this fall. "To have someone like GZA say it's cool to think hard about what the universe is made of—how great is that?"
"My conversations with scientists like David will definitely make their way into my lyrics," GZA says. "But not necessarily literally."
Readers needn't worry about explicit themes when picking up "Dark Matter" for themselves or their kids. As GZA reassured the Wall Street Journal, "The only thing that's going to be stripped bare are the planets."