The Twittersphere was abuzz this week when Georgia rapper B.o.B — Bobby Ray Simmons — posted a series of tweets dissing the Earth’s roundness theory. But have no fear, the media’s favorite celebrity scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson rushed to the rescue.
B.o.B’s self-proclaimed photographic evidence (posted below) in support of the Flat-Earth Conspiracy went viral, causing the New York City-based astrophysicist to fire back with point-blank scientific facts. B.o.B shot off more opinionated tweets, saying things like “the horizon is always eye level” and “once you go flat you never go back.” Tyson’s response? “Duude — to be clear: Being five centuries regressed in your reasoning doesn’t mean we all can’t still like your music.” The spat escalated quickly to a full-on rap battle.
The cities in the background are approx. 16miles apart… where is the curve ? please explain this pic.twitter.com/YCJVBdOWX7
— B.o.B (@bobatl) January 25, 2016
On Monday night, B.o.B released “Flatline” on SoundCloud (now removed), and by Tuesday, Tyson had posted his rebuttal — a track titled “Flat to Fact” that was written and recorded by his nephew, Steve Tyson, and labeled B.o.B’s line of thinking as ignorant and mentally enslaving.
The Twitter fight was trending on news outlets across the country and highlighted on shows like “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore,” in which Tyson himself made an appearance and did a little freestyling before he literally dropped the mic. Here’s a sample:
Listen B.o.B, once and for all. The Earth looks flat because, one, you’re not far enough away, at your size. Two, your size isn’t large enough relative to Earth to notice any curvature at all. It’s a fundamental fact of calculus and non-Euclidean geometry—small sections of large curved surfaces will always look flat to little creatures that crawl upon it.”
Tyson continued by acknowledging the rapper’s freedom to think the world is flat, but deemed this “strain” of thinking for a public influencer as “the beginning of the end of our informed democracy.” And he left B.o.B with one last knowledge bomb:
Quoting my man Isaac Newton, ‘If I have seen farther than others, it’s by standing on the shoulders of giants.’ So that’s right B.o.B, when you stand on the shoulders of those who came before, you might just see far enough to realize the Earth isn’t fucking flat.”
While we love a good rap feud, it’s safe to say that Tyson will thankfully be sticking to his day job as the head of the world-renowned Hayden Planetarium. Case closed.