Lab Tracks

Mad Lab Track: Off That (Rationalist Anthem)

Okay, okay, so I know the big purpose for this weekly post is to explore skeptical themes that exist in the greater world of music, not to focus on artists who made a name for themselves exclusively through their skepticism. But every so often, you just need to go there.

For those not familiar, Baba Brinkman spins rich rhymes into catchy, rhythmic, badass hip-hop exploring skepticism and science. His latest venture, The Rap Guide to Evolution Revised, comprises what he says is the first peer-reviewed rap album. I might add that Maki posted a brilliant and thorough review of this album in concert back in June; go read it if you haven’t already!

The track I chose for this Monday is less science-specific and more rationality-focused. Don’t need much more introduction than that. Enjoy!

(NSFW…if your W is sensitive about words that start with F).

Welcome to the future
Geek Pop Three
Better find them a
Nice soft place to land
‘Cause they sound high
They’re comin’ down
Find them a nice soft place to land right?
Pseudo-scientists, pseudo-mystics,
Pseudo-psychics
It’s all pseudo

I want tomorrow to be better than yesterday
That’s why I’m all about technology
So if you say “slow it down!”
I’ll say fast forward
And if you want the benefits
But not the process then you’re hypocrites
Everybody’s wish list is
For new toys and tools and better medicines
And you can have this wish
Just ask the methodological naturalists
And if your spouse gets sick
Consult professionals never novices
Deep down you all know this
Jay-Z thanks I had to borrow this
To make sure tomorrow is
Filled with a bit less moronic shit

Whatever scientists can discover
You want that
When it’s justice and life or death
You want facts
But when you feel threatened by science
It’s all bad
And you can’t bring the future back

Mysticism and pseudo-science
We off that
Placebo effects and magic
Are off track
Religion and superstition
We off that
‘Cause you can’t bring the future back

Tell them fools get off me!
Fraud we off that
Quacks we off that
Homeopathy?
Hell yeah, we off that
Is you still on that?
You should read Bad Science
And Trick or Treatment; they’re not bad

This ain’t black vs white; it ain’t east vs west
It’s about the scientific method against myths
It’s colour-blind justice and double-blind tests
So you can’t make claims if you lack evidence
You say “It suits me best”
But you haven’t ruled out those placebo effects
And it’s sadistic
To peddle false medicines to poor sick kids
And yes it’s been tested
Prayer doesn’t work against illnesses
What fuckin’ drugs is you on?
Tryin’ to use magic wands in Iraq to detect bombs
You fuckin’ punks, people die when you guess wrong
That’s why we got double-blind tests to detect frauds
And same with homeopaths
And psychic mediums and other phonies and quacks

Whatever scientists can discover
You want that
When it’s justice and life or death
You want facts
But when you feel threatened by science
It’s all bad
And you can’t bring the future back

Mysticism and pseudo-science
We off that
Placebo effects and magic
Are off track
Religion and superstition
We off that
‘Cause you can’t bring the future back

Tell them fools get off me!
Fraud we off that
Ghosts we off that
God we off that
Hell yeah, we off that
Is you still on that?
You should read Dan Dennett
And Dawkins; they’re not bad

I don’t give a fidduck abiddout the fiddaith
You used to have – you can choose your path
And I don’t give a fuck if you meditate
Just don’t try to claim you can levitate
There’s some physical laws you can never break
That’s why they’re called laws, no exceptions made
And I don’t give a fidduck abiddout the visions
You probably had; you’re just a copycat
And yes, I’m aware this is a copied rap
It’s like evolution right? We all adapt
And I don’t give a fuck if you hallucinate
Just don’t try to make any truthful claims
Unless you can show us the proof we crave
‘Cause no aliens ever flew my way
So now it’s time to relax
Your mind and learn a couple science facts

Whatever scientists can discover
You want that
When it’s justice and life or death
You want facts
But when you feel threatened by science
It’s all bad
And you can’t bring the future back

Mysticism and pseudo-science
We off that
Placebo effects and magic
Are off track
Religion and superstition
We off that
‘Cause you can’t bring the future back

Tell them fools get off me!
Spells we off that
The occult we off that
Astrology?
Hell yeah, we off that
Is you still on that?
But we’ll still debunk frauds
‘Cause we still on that


This has been another installment of Monday Lab Tracks. Send us your musical recommendations through our contact link at the top of the page, and tell us what you think of the song in the comments below!

Previous post

Cooking With Carl: Exclusive Behind-The-Scenes Footage!

Next post

AI: The Thinker

Ashley Hamer

Ashley Hamer

Ashley Hamer (aka Smashley) is a saxophonist and writer living in Chicago, where she performs regularly with the funk band FuzZz and jazz ensemble Big Band Boom. She also does standup comedy, sort of, sometimes. Her tenor saxophone's name is Ladybird.

2 Comments

  1. October 11, 2011 at 3:48 am

    I can’t say just how much I love this track.

  2. October 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    It’s worth mentioning that his off-broadway show is ending in early November. He’s calling out to everybody who hasn’t seen the show to come down and take a look.
    http://rapguidetoevolution.com/

    If you’re not in the NYC area, you’re in luck. He’s planning a worldwide tour of college campuses, theaters, and any venues that are interested in having him. So if any readers are organizers/want to organize a Darwinian rap show, they should get in touch with Baba 🙂

    Love this track. It’s also the theme song for a Swedish skeptical podcast http://skeptikerpodden.se/

Leave a reply