Scientist picks up the mic for vaxx rap

He might be more at home conducting lab tests than dropping rhymes on the mic.

But an Auckland scientist has stepped well out of his comfort zone, teaming up with a New Zealand artist to record a hilarious rap song with an important message for anyone yet to get the jab.

Dr J otherwise known as Joel Rindelaub - and rapper Randa this morning released a science-themed music video called Vax the Nation - encouraging New Zealanders to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

The project was produced by Rindelaub, an aerosol chemist, who wants to bring science further into the public realm.

"With so much misinformation floating around about vaccine safety, we need to find new ways to share science," Rindelaub said.

"Currently there aren't a lot of hip-hop lyrics dedicated to scientific advancement."

Lyrics in the song address the common misconceptions about the virus, including how the vaccine was developed so fast and why young New Zealanders shouldn't hesitate about getting the jab.

"Reason it went quicker cause the money rolled in thicker, meaning trials could be bigger with more results to deliver," one lyric reads.

"I know what you're thinking, I'm young I'm healthy / The virus won't affect me, how can Pfizer help me," Randa says during the song.

The music video was released on YouTube and features a number of familiar faces, from leading scientists to politicians.

Making her debut as a featured rap artist, top microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles laid down some lines for the cause.

"I'm not a huge hip-hop head but I was happy to contribute to this message," Wiles said.

But Rindelaub said he was impressed by her "fearless delivery on the mic".

Despite being a new area for academics, Rindelaub said it was great to see people like developmental paediatrician Dr Jin Russell and chief science adviser Dame Juliet Gerrard get involved.

"Seeing these science legends give it their all on camera just shows how strongly they feel about the importance of vaccines," he said.

Act leader David Seymour also makes a brief cameo, spitting some rhymes outside the Beehive.

MP for Auckland Central Chlöe Swarbrick also makes a short appearance.

The video is directed by Matt Cooke, with music production by Floyd Cribb.


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