Twitter was rocked recently by a strange interaction between a rapper and an astrophysicist that started out weird but just kept getting better:
That's why today's review is of TYSON. I can't review him as a DJ, but listening to the tracks available on Soundcloud has been a good experience.
I started out with the view that this was something interesting and I should check it out; it ended up being something where my feelings were more along the lines of gratitude and relief. That sounds like it might be overstating, but so often reviewing Hip Hop becomes a chore because it is so repetitive and unoriginal, often crude and misogynistic. At times like that I forget how good Hip Hop can be; TYSON reminded me.
You would probably expect a track defending astrophysics and the roundness of Earth to be on a high level intellectually, but it doesn't stop there. There is more science in "Star Talkin'" (also featuring his uncle), there is environmentalism in "Mother Earth" and political awareness in "#BLACKLIVESMATTER" and even analysis and defense of Hip Hop in "Four Elements".
That higher level of engagement can have some unexpected effects. "#BLACKLIVESMATTER" names several victims of police brutality, including Akai Gurley. I listened to the song for the first time shortly after reading this:
"The defense for #PeterLiang, during their summation, telling the jury, "Yes, #AkaiGurley was innocent, but don't feel sorry for him."
So hearing his name right after that felt a little raw. That's appropriate. These are real issues, and Hip Hop - perhaps more than any other form of music - has been about addressing them. That return to meaning and quality has been a treat.