B.o.B's claim Earth is flat ignites rap battle with Neil DeGrasse Tyson's nephew
U.S. rapper B.o.B performs at the MTV World Stage Live in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014. (AP / Lai Seng Sin)
Published Tuesday, January 26, 2016 8:39AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 26, 2016 9:09PM EST
Recording artist B.o.B's claim that the Earth is flat has sparked a rap battle with the nephew of renowned astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
The 27-year-old hip-hop singer has been locked in an epic battle of conspiracy theory-versus-science for several days now, as he argues with people on Twitter -- including Tyson -- over claims the Earth is flat.
B.o.B, who is from Atlanta, Ga., claimed on Sunday that the world is flat (or possibly pear-shaped), and accused scientists and the media of promoting a conspiracy to keep the "truth" under wraps.
His evidence for the "flat-Earth" theory is posted in several tweets, and consists mainly of skyline shots showing a flat horizon, and the claim that people are not allowed to go the North and South Pole because that's where the edges of the Earth are.
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
No matter how high in elevation you are... the horizon is always eye level ... sorry cadets... I didn't wanna believe it either.— B.o.B (@bobatl) January 25, 2016
Gleason's Projection pic.twitter.com/7AB50swI2Y— B.o.B (@bobatl) January 25, 2016
I question the international laws that prevent you from exploring Antartica and the North Pole... what's there to hide?— B.o.B (@bobatl) January 26, 2016
I'm going up against the greatest liars in history ... you've been tremendously deceived— B.o.B (@bobatl) January 26, 2016
Many Twitter users responded to B.o.B's theory by pointing out the very simple truth – that the Earth is, in fact, round – but B.o.B simply mocked his detractors by retweeting them and calling them "sheeple."
@bobatl dude get in a plane, and fly in one direction, you will come back around to where you started— Sam Prudence (@Sam_Prudence) January 25, 2016
why don't u do it I dare ya https://t.co/6tg4Bpiphc— B.o.B (@bobatl) January 25, 2016
Neil deGrasse Tyson responded to a few of B.o.B's "science" tweets, with corrections to his math.
@bobatl Earth's curve indeed blocks 150 (not 170) ft of Manhattan. But most buildings in midtown are waaay taller than that.— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) January 25, 2016
@bobatl Polaris is gone by 1.5 deg S. Latitude. You’ve never been south of Earth’s Equator, or if so, you've never looked up.— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) January 25, 2016
The war of words soon heated up, with Tyson launching a few barbs at B.o.B and his "regressive" way of thinking.
@bobatl Flat Earth is a problem only when people in charge think that way. No law stops you from regressively basking in it.— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) January 25, 2016
@neiltyson why can't the curvature of the earth be measured anywhere in nature? why does only NASA have photos of the curve ? r u a mason?— B.o.B (@bobatl) January 25, 2016
B.o.B also threw some shade at Tyson in a newly-recorded song, called "Flatline" (featuring Neil Tyson).
"Globalists see me as a threat," B.o.B says in the song. "Neil Tyson need to loosen up his vest."
B.o.B.'s track also included a clip of a man describing the "oblate spheroid" theory – that the Earth is "pear-shaped," not round.
"Use your – use your common sense," B.o.B sings.
Geocentrism debunks the Coriolis effect, hurricanes, tornadoes, seasons, makes u wonder what earthquakes are... https://t.co/yyC2I8dwG0— B.o.B (@bobatl) January 26, 2016
The diss track prompted Tyson's nephew, Steve Tyson, who performs under the name TYSON, to take shots at B.o.B on his own song called "Flat to Fact," which was endorsed by the astrophysicist on Twitter.
"As an astrophysicist, I don't rap but I know people who do," Tyson wrote.
In the track, which is a reinterpretation of Drake's Meek Mill diss track "Back to Back," TYSON says that he's "got science in my corner and I got nothing to fear."
He later raps that B.o.B is ignorant of commonly accepted science.
"I'm bringing facts to combat silly theory because B.o.B. has got to know the planet is a sphere, G," he raps.
"I think it is very clear that Bobby didn’t read enough and he's believing all this conspiracy stuff," he raps later.
B.o.B released his latest album on Jan. 17. Three days, later, he claimed on Twitter that his account was being censored. He then issued several conspiracy theory tweets, including one alleging that human cloning was real, and another with his original claim that the world is flat.
B.o.B rose to fame in 2010, when he was nominated for a slew of MTV, BET and Grammy awards, for "Nothin' On You" (featuring Bruno Mars) and "Airplanes, Part II" (featuring Eminem and Hayley Williams).
His last song to crack Billboard's top 10 list was "Strange Clouds," featuring Lil Wayne, on Oct. 15, 2011.
In one of B.o.B's earlier songs, an autobiographical track called "Generation Lost," he sings: "In my senior year at Columbia High, I dropped out of high school and I got signed."