When it comes to street cred, Star Trek is at the bottom of the heap. Society still thinks of its fans (or ‘Trekkies”) as emotionally stunted basement dwellers attending sci-fi conventions in full Starfleet uniform. Yet this portrayal of Spock ears and suburban whiteness is not only out-of-date, it ignores the show’s biggest patrons: old-school hip-hop.

That’s right. Just like Voltron, Star Trek has infiltrated the lyrics of all your favourite rappers, such as…

Public Enemy – Give It Up

In the video for their 1994 song “Give It Up”, a claymation Public Enemy look down on the society of Earth from a starship with a very familiar Bridge section. This wouldn’t be the last time they crossed paths with Trek – years later “Fight the Power” would appear in Star Trek Beyond (just as Chuck D and DJ Lord make a comeback as part of Prophets of Rage).

Redman

Redman doesn’t have any one song full of phasers or Klingon references, but almost all of his songs feature a shout-out to the Enterprise’s most logical crew member. In fact, Redman has his own alter-ego called Funk Doctor Spock. He’s not the only one to fixate on the Vulcan though…

Digable Planets – It’s Good To Be Here

90s hip-hop group Digable Planets have a whole verse on the first song of their debut album -fittingly titled Reachin’ (A New Refutation Of Time And Space) – dedicated to flying through space with Jimi Hendrix. It includes lines such as:

“Met some Klingons, and got our things on / Cruisin’ warp 6 with Mr. Wiggles in the mix”

Later, they’re “Droppin like a comet and this Vulcan tried to Spock it” – how does he keep cropping up?

MF Doom – The Drop

Okay, so a Star Trek reference isn’t so surprising from MF Doom – his entire identity is built on comic books and old school sci-fi movies. However, on his Vaudeville Villain album he takes the tribute to the next level,

“Ensign, he shoulda asked his upperclassmen / Before he bust blast ’em, never trust no Cardassian / Captain’s log supplemental / The Klingons are now aboard the Enterprise rental vessel”

Dr Octagon – Perfect World

The Return of Dr Octagon was a controversial album – it revived Kool Keith‘s alter-ego but, due to behind-the-scenes drama with the producer, the final product fell short of what many fans were expecting. However, it did give us this verse:

“From Costa Rica to Boston / Brutal combat, I bomb back, work on your body, and watch / Star Trek”

Beastie Boys

However, The Beastie Boys are by far the biggest Trekkies in the scene. Everybody remembers catching the video for “Ch-Check It Out” – or at least those first few seconds where they all beam in wearing retro uniforms. They also referenced the series in “Intergalactic” and “Brouhaha”:

“Communicator check one two one two / This is Bones McCoy on a line to Sulu / Set the bullshit to warp factor one / Check your tricorder set your phaser to stun”

This love affair was reciprocated in the series revival, which always finds time to show Captain Kirk listening to them, and actually uses their song “Sabotage” as a plot point!

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