Rappin’ Religion’s Solution to the Puzzle of Human Cooperation

As an older(ish) parent of three kids, I’m usually a reluctant listener to rap music. My kids have taught me to appreciate some rap songs, especially those that express heartfelt anguish such as “Cleaning Out My Closet” and “Thugz Mansion” or address social injustices such as “God Bless Amerika” and “Fight the Power.” And who can forget the radical yet lyrical critique of the drudgery of working for the man in “9 to 5”? Wait, that was Dolly Parton. Never mind.

For all its angsty artistry, I have to ask of rappers, “what about my needs?” where “me” means “wonderer at the intersection of philosophy, science, and religion.”