×

Rapper B.o.B Says the Earth Is Flat, Drops Neil deGrasse Tyson Diss Track

Here is the story of the most gloriously stupid Internet beef of 2016.

On Sunday, Grammy-nominated rapper B.o.B announced on Twitter that he does not believe the world is round, then picked a fight with celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson that culminated in his releasing a catchy ditty that sampled and insulted Tyson — plus the Jews.

Update: Tyson has replied with a diss track of his own, called "Flat to Fact." It's performed by Steve Tyson (Neil's nephew), and it's honestly nowhere near as good as "Flatline." It sounds like rap-ified "Schoolhouse Rock," and ends with Neil deGrasse Tyson reading one of his tweets to B.o.B The whole song is kind of unbearable corny. Nobody really won here. Everyone loses.

Audience member Robin Roy (C) reacts as U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets her at a campaign rally in Lowell, Massachusetts January 4, 2016.
Brian Snyder | Reuters
Audience member Robin Roy (C) reacts as U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets her at a campaign rally in Lowell, Massachusetts January 4, 2016.

Those basic facts of this saga are pretty nuts. Here's everything that happened up till then.

Throughout Sunday and Monday, the hybrid rock-rap artist tweeted about conspiracy theories. He suggested that the Apollo moon landing was faked, and he tweeted out cocktail-napkin math equations captioning what look like photos edited in Microsoft Paint. He urged people to investigate cloning centers, and for world governments to allow travel through Antarctica to see the edge of the Earth.

Here is a selection, in chronological order, of what he sent out over the past couple days:

Eventually, pop scientist and professional cold-water-thrower Neil deGrasse Tyson stepped into the ring, hoping to persuade an indefatigable B.o.B (real name: Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr.). Here was his argument:

And on Monday night, B.o.B delivered a devastating, fact-free rebuttal in the form of a diss track on Soundcloud. It is called "Flatline — Feat. Neil Tyson." Its lyrics suggest that Jews control President Obama and reference the prominent Holocaust denier David Irving. B.o.B asks why NASA is part of the Department of Defense, and tells listeners to research Dr. Richard Sauder, the author of a book called "Underwater & Underground Bases: Surprising Facts the Government Does Not Want You to Know."

Of course, B.o.B is

to believe weird stuff. Moral of the story: Don't get your science from B.o.B.

By Noah Kulwin, Re/code.net.

CNBC's parent NBC Universal is an investor in Re/code's parent Revere Digital, and the companies have a content-sharing arrangement.