Blue Collar (album) vs. Michael D. Bicay

Blue Collar

How can the debut album of a hip hop artist that samples both Sharon Jones and Build Me Up Buttercup (yeah, good luck getting THAT song out of your head this morning) NOT be a serious contender for Best Thing Ever? Unfortunately, if I were to link you up with any of his videos I would automatically lose, because this is not Tournament of Most Annoying.

Fortunately, I was assigned Rhymefest’s (and how can you not love a name like Rhymefest? Great rap name, and also a potential character on Sesame Street!) first album, not his most recent album, which is apparently chock-full of homophobic content (the Tournament of Everything does not condone that, and, in fact, barely condones Rhymefest, but we have to work with what we’re given, you know?). But we’re not talking about that! We’re talking about Blue Collar, which was praised by Pitchfork as “something different, done well.” Not only does Rhymefest rock a lisp and defend the working class, in his lyrics he regularly mocks his more famous buddy Kanye West for his absurd lifestyle choices. And anyone who is set on taking Kanye down a peg is ok by me. And could a dude NASA beat Eminem in a rap battle?

Alison

VS.

Michael D. Bicay

Astronomer Michael D. Bicay saved a cat in Puerto Rico and took a thermal infrared image of it. What's Rhymefest done?

While artists like Rhymefest are busy boasting about how awesome they are (and making homophobic remarks), astronomer Michael D. Bicay is quietly busy at the NASA Ames Research Center doing super-awesome shit that might actually be of benefit to the planet including research of “large-scale structure in the universe, the atomic gas content of spiral galaxies, and the infrared properties of galaxies and clusters of galaxies.” OK, so I don’t really know if any of that is of any benefit to us but it certainly sounds important. Not that Bicay would ever put it that way, though.

In fact, he’d much rather relate his profession to you on a level-playing field. Take this inspiring and adorable essay on “One Path Towards an Astronomy Career” in which he talks about how he got to where he is now. It’s a question he’s often asked by children. And why the fuck not? Why do we all go ballistic about some musician and not an astronomer? Probably because they’re too humble. OK, sure, I recognize that life as a musician might be a bit more exciting in most of our minds, but I’m willing to bet Bicay’s thermal infrared image of Pequeña, a gray tabby cat that he rescued from a radar enclosure at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico in 1986 is just as awesome as anything off Blue Collar.

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Published in: on February 10, 2010 at 10:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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