Wu-Tang Clan's GZA shows his genius in Liquid Science on Netflix
Science rules everything around me.
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GZA, the lyric master and MC from the legendary Wu-Tang Clan group, teamed up with Red Bull TV on the new series Liquid Science. It's kind of like hip hop Nova or Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, but instead of food, GZA explores science, technology and innovation.
Also known as The Genius, GZA describes the show, now available on
, as "the curiosity of an MC about the works, studies of engineers and scientists."
In case you're unfamiliar with his science cred, it runs deep. Over the past decade, he's lectured at Harvard, MIT and Oxford, among other schools. Initially, his talks revolved around music and his life, but over time his focus evolved to how science and music intersect.
In 2012, he partnered with Christopher Emdin, an associate professor from Columbia University, for a program called Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S. (Bring Attention to Transforming Teaching, Learning and Engagement in Science), which encouraged New York high school students to learn about science through hip hop.
"I'm a scientist by nature and not by trade," GZA said over the phone in a thoughtful quiet tone. "I've been working on an album for quite some time now, called Dark Matter and most of it involves physics."
In honor of NASA's 2016 Juno Mission, he released the single The Spark from Dark Matter. The song is about the beginning of the universe.
"Step into a world of black holes, quasars
Galaxies, supernovas, bright stars
A spectrum of light beams
Images beyond your wildest dreams"
The title of the show, Liquid Science, is a nod to GZA's album Liquid Swords, widely considered by critics and fans to be one of the best hip-hop albums of all time. Each episode explores a single topic, like climate change, virtual reality, music or immortality. One moment GZA's in an astronaut's suit in a simulated Martian environment, another he rides an actual hoverboard floating inches above the ground.
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GZA said one of the cooler segments involved meeting marine biologist Sylvia Earle, who for decades has fought to protect the world's oceans. She's also the subject of the Netflix documentary Mission Blue. Earle took GZA out on a boat in San Francisco Bay to show him how mud and its creatures reflect the health of a marine environment.
"She had so much passion," GZA said, "and explained things so well about marine life and the state of the ecosystem."