In 2008, CERN produced an amusing low-budget YouTube video called "The LHC Rap." It stormed the Interwebz, garnering some 5.7 million hits to date. But just like East Coast and West Coast rappers have their rivalry, so, too, does CERN and Fermilab, home of the Tevatron — the particle accelerator where many of the major particles were discovered in the 20th century, including the top quark.
Fermilab hits back this week with their own mock-rap video, "Particle Business." Per the press release:
The video features (among others) Ben Kilminster, a scientist with the CDF experiment at Fermilab who performs with a local band called Drug Sniffing Dogs. You can also catch him in more serious mode in the PBS documentary about Fermilab, The Atom Smashers. Kilminster partnered with Tampa-based rapper/producer Steven Rush, a.k.a. funky49, featured in Wired as a Nerdcore Hip-Hop All Star. And for the actual filming, they turned to Dan Lamoureux, director of Nerdcore for Life, a documentary that explores the world of "geek rap". Mostly seen to date at US film festivals, the documentary gets its DVD release this month.
You can definitely see Lamoureaux's hand in the finished product. On a technical level, the "Particle Rap" has, shall we say, higher production values than the "LHC Rap," and the lyrics are less forced and scan a bit better. Check it out:
Don't you love all the shots of Rush/funky49 doing his Beastie Boys impression in front of a field of bison? That's not to say we don't love the original "LHC Rap" by AlpineKat, which has its own geeky, nerdcore charm. Here it is again, for anyone who wants to compare and contrast. Let the physics rap wars begin!