Friday, December 23, 2011

The future of academic rap

There are two guiding texts that shaped the way I write. The first one is Politics and the English Language by George Orwell, which I've written about before, and the second is The Elements of Style by Strunk and White.

This week Russ Roberts linked a mustache-enhanced rap video about The Elements of Style between students playing William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White.

The project was an attempt to communicate the ideas from Strunk and White with the same rap formula used for Keynes and Hayek. I don't think the song is well done or catchy so I'm not embedding it here, but it does present a good question: Is this the start of a trend, and if so, where is that headed?

Will we see clever rhymes and slightly cartoonish costumes with Milton Friedman trouncing John Kenneth Galbraith? Will Paul Samuelson and Greg Mankiw take to the mic to decide who wrote the better textbook? Will there be a duet between Carl Sagan and Richard Feynman? OK, there already is, but you get the point.

There is one set of econ rappers I'd love to see, although their song topic would be pretty open ended. Can you picture two 20-somethings try to replicate these mugs?

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