Rapper Consensus ‘Original Conscience’ Decoded: Breakdown of the Album Cosmology, Astronomy, Particle Physics and Lyrics
Consensus the ‘CERN Rapper’ is back again! This time his latest album ‘Original Conscience’ creatively uses rap to educate GCSE, A-level students, and the public about astronomy, particle physics and the ‘origins of the universe’. The track lyrics use cosmological and particle physics based metaphors to convey complex subjects as relatable stories. The tracks also take influences from multiple genres including hip hop, drill, jazz, garage, rock, jungle and more.
1. Outer Space (Original)
Description: An album introduction track representing an original journey into the origin of outer space. The general idea of the track content is to juxtapose surface-level social commentary on science, physics, rap and the universe. The range of topics and people mentioned are used to represent how widely ideas of physical universe can be expressed and imagined.
Genre/Style: Rap, hip-hop
2. Original Code
Description: Chronicling human’s fascination with the Origins of the Universe.’ This track give an extremely condensed history of astronomy & cosmology for the last 5000 + years. The lyrical pace is roughly supposed to match the intensity of discovery and the passing of time for mankind. A wide variety of experiments, research instruments and observations are referenced throughout. The physics conveyed is also strongly supported in the music video, visually reinforcing core milestones and ideas for the listener.
The general subject matter, theme and approach for the track is based on conversations with Don Lioncoln and Dan Batcheldor.
Genre/Style: jungle , rap, reggae fusion
Level: Beginner / Intermediate
Topics: Taking a journey with humans from the Egyptians and Greeks looking at the stars, all the way through to CERN, The JWT, LIGO and D.U.N.E.
DUNE: See D.U.N.E. (Deep Underground) below
James Webb Telescope: https://webb.nasa.gov/
LIGO: See Gravitational Waves below
3. Unbreakable (feat. Dana McKeon)
Description: Unbreakable is a lyrically powerful pop song about quark gluon plasma and the time shortly after the ‘Big Bang’. The song uses the metaphor of unbreakable relationship bonds to convey ideas relating to changing states of matter. Direct comparisons are used to describe how our problems in life can become more stable as we cool down, just as with the hot matter theorised at the start of the universe. The topic of this track is based on discussions with Dr. Agnes Mocsy.
Genre/Style: Commercial-rap / Pop-rap with a bouncy bass, light guitar and ambient synth vocal melody.
Level: Intermediate / Advanced
Curriculum Topics: Changes of state, states of matter, quark gluon plasma, formation of the early universe
Related track: The Standard Model
About Quark Gluon Plasma:
Description: Invisible is A wavy rap song using particle physics metaphors to describe how to detect and avoid bad energy. The song imagines the listener in a familiar social setting like a club. The lyrics draw comparison between wave-particle duality and the duality in that can sometimes occur when interacting with people. The mystery of energy and its invisibility on a subatomic level reflect our inability to discern intentions in one another. Mass-energy conservation and temperature change analogies are used to reinforce the over-arching narrative.
Genre/Style: Airy synth rap tune with a simple melody and strong synth bassline. Something wavy to bop your head to.
Curriculum Topics: Mass-energy conservation, Ions, Planck’s constant, photoelectric effect, Maxwell Boltzmann particle distributions and p
5. D.U.N.E (Deep Underground)
Description: D.U.N.E is based on Consensus interview with a particle physicist Dr Sudan Paramesvaran. Consensus raps from the point of view of neutrinos being investigated at CERN and D.U.N.E. (Deep Underground Neutrino experiment). The song personifies neutrinos and their characteristics as well as referencing the mystery of CP violation from the big bang. ‘I’ll see you deep underground!’
This track’s contents and storyline can be considered and extension of the subject matter covered in Consensus ‘Antimatter song
Genre/Style: sharp attacking synth melodies, deep 808s and smooth electronic Rap,
Curriculum Topics: Particle Physics, electrons, Atoms, Temperature.
Related tracks: Antimatter, The Machine
What is Antimatter?
What is DUNE?
That is ProtoDUNE?
6. Gravitational Waves (feat. Theon Cross)
Description: When two stars collide to form Gravitational waves on the stage, the stage lights are shining brightly on their huge impact! The idea and themes for the track emerged as a result of Consensus discussion with Prof. Martin Hendry of LIGO who helped with the research for this concept. Using wordplay about gravity, mass, collisions and standing waves, the lyrics metaphorically depict two superstar artists coming together on stage and creating a huge impression on the audience.
Genre/Style: Jazz-Drill hybrid track. The track uses a heavy live Tuba Bass melody with deep 808s layered underneath to add impact.
Curriculum Topics: Standing waves, Wave detection resonance, General Relativity, Gravity, Black holes + Stars
What are gravitational waves?
What is LIGO?
7. Dark Energy (feat. Teshay Makeda)
Description: Dark energy is a lyrically powerful song which explores the analogy of dark energy being like the soul of the universe. The track loosely references ideas of general relativity, cosmology and temperature changes with respect to energy. Each concept is described in a way to abstractly reference to the songs core concept. Specific scientific wordplay is intricately woven and delivered such that the listener can freely feel out the mystifying ideas
Genre/Style: Hip hop / Rnb / jazz
Curriculum Topics: Gravitational Constant, Mass-Energy Conservation, Pressure, Heat transfer,
8. Out of This World (feat. Moses Boyd)
Description: Narrating the scenario of a night club dance event, Consensus described various scenarios and social interactions whilst referencing Newtonian physics, Kepler’s laws, planetary motion. Figurative phrases like ‘I’m too out of this world for them’ are worked into the intricate verses, along with wordplay heavily related to forces and motion.
Genre/Style: simple, bouncy hip hop track to bump in the club. Jazz influenced
Curriculum Topics: Newton’s laws, Kepler’s laws, Gravitational constant, Earthquakes Friction and the Solar System
9. The Machine
Description: This moody, edgy track is laced with countless wordplay and metaphors relating to electrical circuits and laws of electricity. Rapping from the POV of a scientist caught in a mistaken aggressive Stop and Search incident. The song is based consensus interviews with physicists at CERN, DUNE and LIGO. The track also normatively reflects analogous content expressed in D.U.N.E. (Deep Underground), in a way the stories can be connected through the listener’s interpretation.
‘I left the machine at home!’
Genre/Style: Rap / Grime / Electronic using dark moody bass and synths to reflect the lyrical content.
Electrical circuits, resistors, charge, current and voltage, electro- magnetism
10. Higher Amount
(Drums: Moses Boyd, guitar Nikos, Ayiman, Emily Tran)
Description: Higher Amount is a rock-rap song about journeying to space with rockets and the pursuit of extraterrestrial travel. The song uses ideas of space travel literally and figuratively, heavily drawing from technology used by NASA. Within the track there are references to telescope technologies, signal transmissions, propulsion systems, and astronomical phenomena and measurements. The approach here is much more focused on experimental astrophysics rather than theoretical.
Consensus research discussion with Dan Batcheldor was a big catalyst for this track.
Our conversation will be covered in my YouTube uploads.
Genre/Style: Rock-rap, live band Alternative hip hop
Level: Intermediate / Advanced
Momentum & Impulse, Suvat Equations, Optics, EMFs
11. Of Philosophy And Science
Description: Of Philosophy And Science contains musings around the philosophy of science addressing ideas of scientific knowledge, evidence, inference, logic and reasoning, statistical analysis and justification. The song aims to playfully address where we get our understanding and trust in science from, and where the limitations might be.
Genre/Style: hip hop, boom-bap, sampled beats, conscious hip hop
Level: intermediate / Advance
Topics: scientific knowledge, evidence, inference, logic and reasoning, statistical analysis and justification
12. Radiate (feat. Teshay Makeda)
Description: A deep conceptual track examining ideas behind cosmic microwave background and various types of radiation. The track loosely uses the analogy of researching ones family tree and cultural history, trying to discover the truth using distorted information about the past. The suggestion is that we can shine brightly by knowing about our past, and even if the details aren’t visible, we should be confident to embrace over ways to infer what happened.
Genre/Style: alternative, Caribbean influenced, dancehall / Rap
Level: Intermediate / Advance
Nuclear Physics, radiation, black body spectrum, electromagnetic frequencies
13. Star Power
(+Matt Green Freestyle)
Description: What kind of power do we need to become stars? Star Power looks at different forms of power produced in the stars, and on earth. The song personifies the life cycle of a star, contrasting its’ various stages to celebrity behaviour. Later in the track Consensus uses playful similes toe explore several types of renewable energy sources.
Genre/Style: Garage, Jazz sample, ambient
Curriculum Topics: Life cycle of a Star , Nuclear Fusion, Nuclear Fission, and Renewable Energy
14. Universal Problems
Universal Problems acts as the culmination of information Consensus acquired through his life regarding physics. The track serves as a social commentary on the uses of STEM analysis in society, including cosmology, scientific research, economics and engineering. The lyrics aim to highlight basic applications of physics and mathematics that are the backbone of systems we rely on daily. Idealistically, if we were privy to these core tenants individually, we might see solutions for many of the problems we have collectively.
Genre/Style: UK Rap, hip hop synths and 808s
Level: Intermediate / Advance
Topics: Maths, calculus, statistics, thermodynamics, astrology, economics