Intergalactic hip hop, where are you?
August 4, 2009 1:52 PM   Subscribe

Can you point me toward some slammin' science fiction-themed hip hop?

Specific tracks would be best; for example, I know that MF Doom and Kool Keith in his various incarnations both play with SF, but I don't know where to look in their sizable oeuvres for the best examples.

I have an hour of radio to fill on this theme, so all suggestions welcome! (I've got MC Frontalot pretty much covered, btw.)
posted by slappy_pinchbottom to Media & Arts (35 answers total) 53 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Deltron 3030--the whole album will work, but especially the first track.
posted by Prospero at 1:54 PM on August 4, 2009

Deltron 3030 by Del tha Funkee Homosapien is a SF concept album.
posted by mikesch at 1:54 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Kool Keith aka Doctor Octagon

don't believe the reviews. this stuff is AMAZING.
posted by radiosilents at 2:01 PM on August 4, 2009

Best answer: MC Chris – Fett's Vette
posted by avocet at 2:04 PM on August 4, 2009

Psyence Fiction?
posted by Artw at 2:20 PM on August 4, 2009

Best answer: Intergalactic!

And not so much science fiction as science fact, but I love this song:
What we need more of is science, MC Hawking
posted by amethysts at 2:21 PM on August 4, 2009

El-P has a bunch of good stuff, my favorite - "Dead Disnee" - post-apocalyptic Disney dystopia.
posted by naju at 2:29 PM on August 4, 2009

Check out Janelle Monae's EP: Metropolis. It's a roller coaster ride of an album. It's supposedly inspired by the classic Fritz Lang film of the same name. Highly recommended.
posted by Holygrail2 at 2:29 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Not quite hip hop but

Luke Vibert
posted by fistynuts at 2:30 PM on August 4, 2009

Alan Moore knows the score
posted by Artw at 2:37 PM on August 4, 2009

Best answer: Can't do this without Scent of a Robot by Pete Miser
posted by nicwolff at 2:49 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: El-P has some pretty bleak sci-fi-themed tracks -- specifically the aforementioned "Dead Disnee" plus "Stepfather Factory" off Fantastic Damage and "Habeas Corpses (Draconian Love)" from I'll Sleep When You're Dead.
posted by neckro23 at 2:53 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

For DOOM, you're basically looking for the Monsta Island Czars and King Ghidorah albums.

Rammellzee might be up your alley, especially The Bi-Conicals. Blood of Abraham's Eyedollartree, Presage's Outer Perimeter and Mr. Lif's I, Phantom all have some dystopian elements. Georgia Anne Muldrow/Dudley Perkins, and lots of Anticon-affiliated people, among many others, have elements of Afro-futurism.

If you're not strictly interested in MCing, check out Q-Bert's Wave Twisters and some of the DJ stuff from the Space Traveler Crew (don't get too excited, though, I'm pretty sure they mean space-traveler-as-in-stoner).
posted by box at 2:57 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: good suggestions, might I add:

-Viktor Vaughn -Vaudeville Villian (or most stuff by MF DOOM, though this album is the Most scif-fi. Other projects of his to look at would be King Geedorah and the Monster Island Czars)


-Mr. Lif (I'm thinking some other things off 'Enters the Colossus' would work as well).
posted by nameless.k at 3:04 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: MF DOOM's King Geedorah stuff isn't is some good head-nod shit and definitely scifi-influenced. Here's Phazers.

Masta Ace & Guru's Conflict has a pretty sweet R2D2 sample, but it's not scifi themed. Ignore the lame download message at the beginning of the video, it's the best quality audio on youtube of the track.

radiosilents mention of Dr. Octagon is a good one, but the instrumental version they released is all you need. Kool Keith just ruins Automator's work for me.
posted by ashabanapal at 3:05 PM on August 4, 2009

I can't believe no one has mentioned Space Game by MC Lars.
posted by sandig at 3:24 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

El-P has already been mentioned; be sure to check out the Cannibal Ox album he produced.
posted by Merzbau at 3:44 PM on August 4, 2009

mcplusplus is not science fiction; more computer science... But he's definitely nerdcore.
posted by JV at 4:12 PM on August 4, 2009

Best answer: Another recommendation for El-P, with two specific tracks: Deep Space 9MM and Stepfather Factory.
posted by googly at 4:17 PM on August 4, 2009

The second verse of "Is an Elegy" by the Youngblood Brass Band ( from Center : Level : Roar) is an extended Dune metaphor, although the song's nominally about a breakup. I'm not sure where this falls in the hiphop spectrum, though.
posted by Alterscape at 4:55 PM on August 4, 2009

Best answer: More of the requested Kool Keith -- Black Elvis/Lost In Space uses a lot of sci-fi imagery, though it's not as fantastical as the original Dr. Octagon.

(The Octagon "Return" album from this decade is not too great. As an aside, I can't quite believe that anyone could question Keith's contribution to the original Octagon record. Even amongst people who aren't hardcore fans of Keith's work, that record is considered perhaps his best -- though personally I rate Sex Style above that. He seems to think there is too much focus on Octagon, something which conceptually had been off for several years, then briefly on, then finally put to bed with Dr. Dooom 2 where Dooom kills Octagon off for a second time.)

Video for Livin' Astro.

Not a real video for I'm Seein' Robots.

Dr. Dooom's First Come First Served is maybe a bit sci-fi, but more horror.

And maybe his Mr. Nogatco project if you like alien abductions.

+1 for M.F. Doom's Vaudeville Villain of course.
posted by galaksit at 5:33 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Can't believe nobody's linked to the LHC rap.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:58 PM on August 4, 2009

Also, Parliament Funkadelic was very sci-fi. Not rap, but probably rap's most sampled artist, next to James Brown.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:59 PM on August 4, 2009

Speaking of El-P Run The Numbers is also great and sci-fi-ish (or dystopian at least)
posted by delmoi at 7:35 PM on August 4, 2009

The Gorillaz is (are?) not strictly hip-hop, but have some definite sci-fi themes going on in their music. There's a song called "Every planet we reach is dead" and the song "Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head" is sort of sci-fi/fantasyish.
posted by lunasol at 9:05 PM on August 4, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all the awesome suggestions -- I knew I was taking my question to the right krewe. I marked as best the ones I was able to use (often due to a specific track being recommended, I didn't have time to listen to full records.) Lots of great stuff in this thread I didn't get around to; maybe next time...

Tune in to (91.7 FM in Austin) today from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm Central Time to hear the results!
posted by slappy_pinchbottom at 11:02 AM on August 9, 2009

Response by poster: Not that anyone is likely ever to look at this thread again, but here are the results of our collaborative efforts:

SciFiHipHop Part 1

SciFiHipHop Part 2

SciFiHipHop Part 3

posted by slappy_pinchbottom at 11:09 AM on August 16, 2009 [25 favorites]

Neato, slappy--thanks for giving back.
posted by box at 5:27 PM on August 16, 2009

Nice one!
posted by galaksit at 4:12 PM on August 25, 2009

I'ma slap me some pinchbottom in celebration! Thanks!
posted by hifiparasol at 9:43 PM on September 6, 2009

Found vie Meta--this is awesome. You just simplified today's Labor Day Party soundtrack.
posted by Mngo at 5:44 AM on September 7, 2009

Pinchbottom, these mixes are classic! Scent of a Robot is one of the best hip-hop tracks of all time, I'm looking forward to rocking this all month!
posted by Homeskillet Freshy Fresh at 1:29 PM on September 7, 2009

holy crap - righteous!

thanks much slappy_pinchbottom!

maybe too late to mention but still: Gift of Gab's 4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up has some great cuts flava'd with all manner of sci-fi sprinklings
posted by jammy at 4:12 PM on September 7, 2009

Blackalicious has some science minus the fiction with Chemical Calisthenics (around 2:10).
posted by ikahime at 10:08 PM on September 9, 2009

I love Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. More alternative with some sweet bass, but you might like it anyway!
posted by jander03 at 6:00 PM on May 2, 2010

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