An actor portraying Neil de Grasse Tyson helps Bill Nye (Nice Peter) take on Sir Isaac Newton (Weird Al Yankovic) in the third season of YouTube's "Epic Rap Battles of History." Credit: ERB video grab

Astronomer and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson has attracted his share of critics, but none quite like a rapper named B.o.B who believes the Earth is flat (Yes, flat).[spacenews-ad]

B.o.B took to Twitter over the weekend to express his beliefs about the world’s shape, which Tyson countered. B.o.B, in turn, released a (NSFW) track late Monday (since removed from Soundcloud) aimed squarely at Tyson, which included some samples of Tyson himself.

“Neil Tyson need to loosen up his vest,” he raps. “Why is NASA part of the Department of Defense?”

Rising to Neil Tyson’s defense Tuesday was his nephew, a rapper named Tyson, who responded with a track of his own, “Flat to Fact” (subtitled “B.o.B Diss Track”).

“I got science in my corner,” he raps in a track that, perhaps for the first time in the history of music, mentions both the Hayden Planetarium and Donald Trump.
Who won? You decide.

If all that leaves you wanting more science-literate rap battles, you could do worse than checking out these “Epic Rap Battles of History” videos:

“Sir Isaac Newton vs. [the Planetary Society’s] Bill Nye”

“Einstein vs. Stephen Hawking”

“Nikola Tesla vs. Thomas Edison.”

Jeff Foust writes about space policy, commercial space, and related topics for SpaceNews. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree with honors in geophysics and planetary science...