Article Thumbnail

MC Hammer Is the Reigning Blerd King of Hip-Hop

U can’t touch this rapper’s love of science — making him a must-follow in a world full of surprisingly geeky hip-hop artists

Did you know Biggie Smalls was a straight-A student?

It’s true! The Notorious B.I.G. was a gangster and an honor roll kid. Kendrick Lamar was, too. “School was pretty fun,” he once recalled. The same goes for J. Cole.

Hip hop’s blerdom doesn’t stop there either. You have laid-back nerds like Questlove of the Roots; gospel nerds like Chance the Rapper; art nerds like Tyler the Creator; oddball old school nerds like Del the Funky Homosapien; literal nerds like Logic; socio-political nerds like Mos Def and Talib Kweli; comic nerds like MF Doom; music nerds like Guru and DJ Premier; underground nerds like Blackalicious; and even thug-life nerds like Tupac, Jay-Z, at least half of N.W.A. and the whole damn Wu-Tang Clan (I mean, their whole vibe is kung-fu flicks and comic books, that’s as nerdy as it gets).

Finally, there’s Pharrell Williams, who was so nerdy about hip hop he called his early music team N.E.R.D.

In fact, you could say anyone who’s a cratedigger is a nerd. Think about it: Most of them spent their teen years alone, with pen and pad in hand, making beats in a DIY lab, usually their bedroom or basement. They were obsessive, often reclusive, only venturing out to meet up with others who were doing the exact same thing. Or they’d spend hours online with people driven by the same passions. If you swap rhymes for 20-sided dice and character sheets, it can be difficult to tell the difference between a young emcee and a D&D role player. If you swap bars for binary language, you could be talking about young coders or SoundCloud rappers.

Might I suggest, though, my favorite hip-hop nerd — MC Hammer, an excellent Twitter follow who lately has been filling my feed with all kinds of fun blerdness. For instance:

And last week, he introduced his 3.2 million followers to a hashtag awareness campaign called #BlackinChem, a week-long celebration of the contributions of Black chemists that was co-founded by a Black scientist known as Devin, The Chemist.

But these are far from isolated examples of hashtag support from Hammer. He loves to offer his king-level hyper-visibility on social media to science and scientists whenever he can. Sometimes, it seems Hammer loves science almost as much as he loves Jesus. Like, he’s a truly legit missionary of science’s message.

Perhaps Hammer believes we can investigate the majesty of God’s work through the lens of an electron microscope. Either way, there’s definitely a gospel-music-like enthusiasm that he uses to help spread his love of science. He wants people to feel it.

So why not make like it’s 1990 again, and add some MC Hammer to your life?

He promises to delight you by constantly hyping science and its positive contributions to society. He likes to share links to articles that consider the natural mysteries left to solve. He retweets the cool science vids he comes across — specifically, the ones that awaken curiosity and/or inspire wonder and/or brighten your day for at least a moment or two.

And since he is MC Hammer, after all, he also posts occasional reminders of why we know his name in the first place. My advice to you: “Pick up the Hammer!