If Economists Rapped

Economics is sometimes referred to as the science of stating the obvious in a blatantly overcomplicated way.

Where better to apply this definition than in the realm of freestyle rapping? Take a look at this translated video. If it’s not the funniest thing you’ve seen today, then — well, you’ve had a very funny day. Congratulations.

To quote one combatant in the video:

I am in fact orating with little or no prior preparation, an act commonly referred to as freestyling. Once again, and I think this bears repeating, I would like to restate my claim that I am in fact much stronger and have endured a larger number of hardships than you; hardships which have left me with an aggressive behavior and an imposing demeanor which, I believe, frightens you.

(HT: David Friedman)


Terrible taste, but many of your readers will love it because they view rap/free styling as something of no art value or an unnecessary obscurity. It is things like this that give the continued name of rap/hip hop a bad image as people trounce on it.



You seem to think that makes a difference to the guys here. Unfortunately, the guys here seem to have no interest in stuff like that. Furthermore, if you explore that site more, you'll see just how ridiculously racist those two guys who host it are.


Wow. Given the disparity between the actual battle and the 'translation', I think the video is incredibly racist.


I only found the video mildly amusing, until the ensuing free-for-all accompanied by Swing music. Thank you for brightening my day.

#1 Perhaps this website could begin offering Stump Speech translations:

"I'm saying the same things that I have been saying for the last two months, while slightly altering the order of delivery of my time-tested and focus group approved cliches, so as to not sound repetitive."

John King

The 'translation' has nothing to do with the actual words spoken during the 'battle'. The translation mocks freestyle rap as being obsessed with alleged homosexuality (above all), criminal behaviour and parenthood - this may be true for some freestyle battles but was not true in this case.

Assuming that the 'translation' was made by white students (taking into account the accents and vocabulary used) then the phrase "racist mockery" springs to mind.

Thomas Brownback

For the curious:

The original battle was Math vs. Dose.

Math has an interview on youtube explaining why it got violent, it had little or nothing to do with the content of the raps (obviously if you can't take an insult you shouldn't be freestyling).


Yea! Let's mock the dark people some more!


Much better than the original version of the clip.

David Chowes

Protean BEN STEIN (of the Nixon administration, economist, actor, writer, commentator...) wraps kinda well using a great deal of free association.


The commenters shouting "racism" are missing the point. The video a shot at economists and how they can make something fun and spirited, like freestyle, into something dull and boring, like the voice over. I would like to see two rappers re-translate the script into battle rap format and see how it turns out.


Get over yourselves, people; it is hilarious - a juxtaposition of middle-high culture and low. And I approve of the creators of the video being unapologetic, without any of the sensitivity posturing that usually accompanies any unfounded claims of racism.

King Politics

Hilarious. They need to apply this to the political pundits on the Sunday talk shows.



Why is freestyling "low culture" and whatever unrelated drivel that was dubbed over the top "middle-high culture"? The video was NOT a shot at economists. It was posted here as an attempt to make fun of economists, yes, but the video itself was made in a way that mocked an artform the creators clearly do not understand. And by attributing stereotypes to a video that are otherwise empty of them, they are relegating these two men to racist archetypes.


Snidely, that point could have been made by doing an *actual* translation of the battle. The fact that no attempt was made to preserve the semantic content of the original rhymes is not about reducing it to something dull and boring, it's about perpetuating racist stereotypes. I thought it was funny until I looked up the original battle, and then I was *appalled* at how offensive it was. Those two guys don't have to re-translate anything. The voice over was literally (I mean LITERALLY) made-up.


I like the economist's translation of the Rolling Stones 'you can't always get what you want' or as an economist might put it...

'Individuals maximise utility subject to constraints'.