When Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon with Apollo 11 in 1969, he probably didn’t expect that he would commemorate the event forty years later with a hip-hop video.
But that is what happened, and you can watch it on the internet: Buzz Aldrin’s Rocket Experience.
To be honest, the song isn’t that catchy (Buzz has little rhythm), but the “Making Of” video with Snoop Dogg and Talib Kweli is actually pretty funny.
In the video, Buzz declares, “I have only two passions: space exploration, and hip-hop.” His hip-hop name? Doc Rendezvous.
Apparently, the idea for a collaboration came to Buzz when he was over at Snoop Dogg’s crib playing Fight Night 4. He twittered the idea to Talib Kweli, and an unspecified amount of time later, they’re all in the studio, working on the song and talking about how Buzz Aldrin has influenced rap. Oh, and Quincy Jones is there, too, talking about Buzz’s “groove” on the moon. And what Buzz lacks in rhythm, he makes up for in deadpan comic timing.
It’s a bizarre and inexplicable combination, but it’s also genius. I’ve always thought of the astronauts who landed on the moon as old white men, players in an event I wasn’t alive for, and then always took for granted. But seeing Buzz Aldrin in the context of these familiar rappers, and with this great made-up history of his hip-hop career, makes the moon landing a lot more relateable. The video bridges the generational gap – and I would bet that it’s made more young people aware that this 40-year anniversary thing is going on.
If you really want, you can buy the song on iTunes. A portion of the proceeds go to Aldrin’s charity, the ShareSpace Foundation. Or you can buy his book. But what won’t cost you any money is listening to EarthSky’s podcast with Buzz Aldrin. I know which one I would choose.
Learning to love science. As a producer for EarthSky, Lindsay Patterson interviews some of the world's most fascinating scientists. Through EarthSky, her work content is syndicated on some of the world's top media websites, including USAToday.com and Reuters.com. Patterson is also charged with helping to stay in steady communication with the thousands of scientists who contribute to EarthSky's work of making the voice of science heard in a noisy world. She graduated from Colorado College with a degree in creative writing, and a keen interest in all forms of journalism and media.