Today’s news item, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal, will impress even the most anti-hip-hop parent: GZA, founding member of the renowned and revered rap group The Wu-Tang Clan, is busily working on his next album “Dark Matter”, which is designed to get his fans as excited as he is about science. Yes, science. According to the article, found here, GZA has been meeting with top physicists and cosmologists at MIT and Cornell University, and been hanging out at the Hayden Plantarium with its director, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, researching principles of physics and the origin and development of the universe. GZA marvels at how science is involved in so much of our daily experience, from the creation of an ice cube to the structure of a soccer ball, and how little people know about it. He hopes to change this with “Dark Matter”, and plans to package it with an illustrated book which may also include lyrics and a glossary, his version of “an epic textbook”.

“Dark Matter” is just the first of a series of science related albums GZA is planning. Next on his list is an album about the science of the sea. He has already started his research on that project, meeting with marine biologists and environmental scientists. The scientists appreciate the attention and the mission. MIT professor Penny Chisholm, who met with GZA last year, noted, “He could play an important role in getting various messages out through his art form–about the earth, and science. That’s why I’ve become a fan”. GZA hopes his long time fans will be excited about this new project as well. While he acknowledges that some of them will think an album about physics is “boring”, he believes that they will put aside this prejudice and allow his album to spark their curiosity. “I don’t think people have ever really been in touch with science” he notes, but that could change with “Dark Matter”.

Parents who are wary of letting their younger children listen to hip-hop can rest easy with respect to “Dark Matter”. As GZA explains, “There’s no parental advisory, no profanity, no nudity,” he said. “The only thing that’s going to be stripped bare is the planets.”

Way to go GZA!! If this gets our children and their parents thinking and learning about physics and the cosmos while bopping to a funky beat, we are all for it!! Can’t wait to hear it. What do you think? Will you buy or download “Dark Matter” when it comes out in the fall?