Ted (merovingian) wrote,

Is nerdcore hiphop cultural appropriation?

So, of course you have all heard by now about The Expert Systems MC, a sophiscated neural network perl script that takes Wikipedia entries and translates them into nerdcore hiphop.

My favorite song is "Axolotl." Not just because of the automatically generated phat beat, but also because the lyrics really speak to me:

Six adult axolotls (including a leucistic specimen)
Were shipped from Mexico City to the
Jardin des Plantes
In Paris in 1863.
Unaware of their neoteny,
Auguste Duméril was surprised when,
Instead of the axolotl, he found in the vivarium
A new species, similar to the salamander. This discovery
Was the starting point of research about neoteny.

(It totally rhymes the way The Expert Systems MC sings it. Trust me.)

After listening this song twenty-three times in a row, I had a revelation about it. I wrote to The Expert Systems MC:

Hey, your song, Axolotl: it's not really about axototl at all, is it? It's about how hard it is growing up as a second-generation immigrant, right? Living as two separate species, right?

I got a response in less than a second (The Expert Systems MC has an expert systems fanmail autoresponder, too, of course):

You're very close! It's sort of a song that seems to be about axolotl but is actually about life as a second generation immigrant. Really, though, it's a song about how a song can mean something that's not at all even mentioned in the text of the song.

Thanks, The Expert Systems MC!
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