The Rap Guide To Medicine

by Baba Brinkman

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about

A hip-hop guide to evolutionary medicine and the Darwinian roots of disease.

Sources:
www.randolphnesse.com/articles/darwinian-medicine

Randolph M. Nesse & George C. Williams, Why We Get Sick

Robert L. Perlman, Evolution & Medicine

Stephen C. Stearns & Jacob C. Koella, Evolution in Health and Disease, 2nd Ed.

Peter Gluckman and Mark Hanson, Mismatch

Daniel Lieberman, The Story of the Human Body

Click on individual tracks for additional sources

credits

released 18 March 2015

All tracks written by D. Brinkman and J. Simmonds except track 8, written by D. Brinkman and T. Caruana
All tracks produced, mixed and mastered by Mr. Simmonds, track 8 co-produced by Tom Caruana
Additional keys on tracks 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8 by Simon Kendall
Additional vocals on tracks 3 and 6 by Aaron Nazrul

Made with support from the International Society for Evolution, Medicine & Public Health, the ASU Center for Evolution and Medicine, the Perlstein Lab, and the Society for Applied Microbiology.

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Track Name: Why We Get Sick
Let’s begin with medicine from back in the day
When a priest and a medicine man were the same
I’m in pain, I’ve got a fever and I’m restless!
“A classic case of demon possession
I’ve got the cure though, here, take it easy
Drink this broth, it’s made from endangered species
It works only when the weather’s not stormy
Now go sacrifice a goat and call me in the morning”
We practice medicine in similar ways
Today, but now it’s nominally evidence-based
It used to be entirely mysterious but these 
Days it's just mysterious to various degrees
Thanks to Louis Pasteurization, vaccines
And discoveries like the germ theory of disease
But what about natural alternative medicine
Ayurvedic homeopathy and all the rest of it?
Well, if we can isolate and test it for effectiveness
Maybe some of it will be vindicated by evidence
And then it won’t be "alternative", it'll be “medicine”
And whatever’s left? Well, that we can jettison
Yeah, modern medicine is mechanistic
Treats the body like a machine, attempts to fix it
But the picture’s incomplete without this next bit
Not just “how it works” but “why we get sick”

Why we get sick
We evolved to crave salt, sugar and fat
They were scarce in the past
So we get sick
Sit down, take some weight off
Lower back pain results as a trade off
We get sick
The genes inside us
Are ancient, surrounded by modern products
We get sick
Microbial arms races
Charles Darwin taught the basics
Of why we get sick

“Why does disease exist?”
Next time someone asks that, don’t plead the fifth
I know your neighbour’s car has a Jesus fish
You wanna keep the peace, and he believes a myth
But so what? People die from untreated infections
And asking “why” implies natural selection
And that can lead to new research questions
So lives are lost to avoid bein' offensive?
Well that's offensive, to life’s preservation
Every disease requires two explanations
The first one is proximate, Doctor Gregory House
Tryin’ to get the diagnosis and figure it out
What’s the broken mechanism? Like a puzzle to solve
The second question is: How did this evolve?
Relax, evolution is so simple
The DNA in your cells encodes info
For how to build a body to develop and thrive
Ultimately to reproduce and survive
So disease itself is not the adaptation
But you need adaptations to explain...

Why we get sick
We evolved to crave salt, sugar and fat
They were scarce in the past
So we get sick
Sit down, take some weight off
Lower back pain results as a trade off
We get sick
The genes inside us
Are ancient, surrounded by modern products
We get sick
Microbial arms races
Charles Darwin taught the basics
Of why we get sick

How does DNA make design?
With no intelligent mind? It takes time
But any variation that increases reproduction
Or random mutation that enhances some function
Of feeding or developing or escaping from hitches
Will tend to increase in number – that's fitness
Take infection, you can feel it, something's wrong
But that's an organism trying to get its reproduction on 
Up in your guts, no guts no glory
That's just one of several evo-categories
Another is defenses, you catch a fever
To cook the invader, no bug, that's a feature
Yeah, you have weapons to beat back infections
So don't make rash decisions and mask symptoms
Dosing with iron when your blood is busy bindin' it
And watch out for mismatched environments
We evolved in the days of the cave man
Coca cola wasn't really part of the game plan
And some diseases are all about genetics
You gotta take the gene's eye view to really get it
Sometimes they go rogue, it’s like starting a war
They send you to the oncology ward
Life is full of design compromises
Trade offs, you know, kinda like with high rises
Strength for tensility, speed for longevity
Live fast, die young, breed prolifically
And yeah, humans are still evolving 
But we've got a body plan, so we can't evolve wings
We had to wait to fly 'til someone thought of it
Cultural evolution, medicine is part of it

Cultural evolution, medicine is part of
Part of cultural evolution
Medicine is part of

Why we get sick
We evolved to crave salt, sugar and fat
They were scarce in the past
So we get sick
Sit down, take some weight off
Lower back pain results as a trade off
We get sick
The genes inside us
Are ancient, surrounded by modern products
We get sick
Microbial arms races
Charles Darwin taught the basics
Of why we get sick
Track Name: Senescence
You got a body and I got a body and
When we get our bodies together mama, we partyin’
Reproducin’ to keep it movin’
Doin’ our bit for evolution

You got a body and I got a body and
They differ – mine’ll probably fall apart quicker
I’m talkin’ ten years not ten seconds
You and me baby, all the way to senescence

I just wanna be an aging B-Boy
Live long and prosper, Leonard Nemoy
When it comes to longevity we’re killin’ it
Life span longer than a Asian elephant
Chimps get jealous at us, their close relatives
We live like twenty years longer, deal with it
If you look elsewhere though, we’re dead frail
I want two hundred years like a bowhead whale!
Aging and senescence aren’t the same thing
Aging is time passing, that’s a great thing
But senescence is bio-degrading
Sucks to be a mayfly on the day of mating
Time’s wasting, evolution tracks it
Never puts all its eggs in one basket
Longer life is better when predators are scarce
‘Cause you can invest in care
But when the dangers of death surround you
Reproduce faster when hazards hound you
This is how our bodies got built
To achieve just one thing, and it’s not health

You got a body and I got a body and
When we get our bodies together mama, we partyin’
Reproducin’ to keep it movin’
Doin’ our bit for evolution

You got a body and I got a body and
They differ – mine’ll probably fall apart quicker
I’m talkin’ ten years not ten seconds
You and me baby, all the way to senescence

I love your body mama, it’s hella fine
Even if it’s kind of unintelligently designed
Even if it’s chock full of flaws, you’re workin’ it
Let’s be flawed together, like other vertebrates
You’re hot, even with your blind spot
Even with your optic nerve tryin’ to block
Your retina, that collection of blood vessels is odd
You’re hot, but you’re no cephalopod
You’re flawed, but I’m so flawed too
My throat is designed so I choke on food
The principle should be blatantly obvious
Don’t put the trachea in front of the esophagus!
You can see why that’s quite senseless
Passing every bite over your windpipe’s entrance
But these bodies never had a blueprint
Just generations and generations of evolution
Perfection of design, that’s irrelevant
We take what we can from our past development
Even if it leaves us vulnerable
So here’s what I wanna do before we gotta go…

You got a body and I got a body and
When we get our bodies together mama, we partyin’
Reproducin’ to keep it movin’
Doin’ our bit for evolution

You got a body and I got a body and
They differ – mine’ll probably fall apart quicker
I’m talkin’ ten years not ten seconds
You and me baby, all the way to senescence

Why don’t our bodies regenerate better?
And stretch out the lifespan like a tape measure?
Why would evolution let us deteriorate
And shape us into physically inferior apes?
In old age, pulmonary disease
Cancer, cardiovascular, diabetes
Neurodegeneration, heebie jeebies
Can I get some extra time if I eat my wheaties?
Or at least an explanation
That might help us one day to treat patients?
Here’s how George Williams might approach it
Genes are antagonistically pleiotropic
Their effects are quite various
Some are beneficial and some are deleterious
But if a mutation conveys a benefit
Early in life, but then messes up the rest of it
Helps an organism reproduce, and later brings on
The death of it, natural selection will select for it
And that’s how senescence got built in
To our genome, now, speaking of children…

You got a body and I got a body and
When we get our bodies together mama, we partyin’
Reproducin’ to keep it movin’
Doin’ our bit for evolution

You got a body and I got a body and
They differ – mine’ll probably fall apart quicker
I’m talkin’ ten years not ten seconds
You and me baby, all the way to senescence
Track Name: Gene's Eye View
My man’s got a bad case of cystic fibrosis
A hella pessimistic prognosis
He started out like “why god, why god?
Why did that song have to shuffle on my iPod?”
Feelin’ like he got struck with a left hook
He did the sensible thing and read a textbook
And discovered an inherited disease
That can only be understood evolutionarily
He’s got a gene called CFTR
With one deletion in a phenylalanine part
One less amino acid, fantastic
Hell-a-common, one in thirty white people have it
Carry one copy and you don’t even notice
Inherit two copies and catch a diagnosis
An autosomal recessive disorder, one of more than
Four thousand genetic diseases recorded
And my man got the shorter side of the stick
So he started askin’ questions like “why does it exist?”
What kind of sadistic joke is cystic fibrosis?
Now this is what he sings when he’s feelin’ hopeless

I live my life, I love my friends, I eat my food
Sometimes I just don’t understand the things I do
A wise man told me: “look deeper inside you”
So now I take the gene’s eye view

It turns out my man’s got a special mutation
That goes back more than six hundred generations
CFTR is just one of twenty thousand
Protein-coding genes that have been accounted
Knock one out and it makes a vast difference
He can’t breathe right, and he’s got no vas deferens
That’s infertility without medical help
So how did this gene spread itself so well
That one in every thirty caucasian people have it?
He found the answer: heterozygote advantage
Two copies gives you cystic fibrosis
One copy protects you from tuberculosis
Mendelian diseases can spread because carriers
Get resistance to parasites like various
Malarias, just check out thalassemia
It’s common in the tropics like sickle cell anemia
My man’s mutation protected his ancestors
In times of pandemic it spread and became prevalent
So evolution sacrificed him for his relatives
And now this is what he sings when he’s feelin’ sick

I live my life, I love my friends, I eat my food
Sometimes I just don’t understand the things I do
A wise man told me: “look deeper inside you”
So now I take the gene’s eye view

My man studied evolution up to his eyeballs
Until at least he could say “hey, this isn’t my fault”
It’s all about trade offs and average benefits
Across populations; sometimes it's genetic drift
Or founder effects, it’s not always adaptive
Sometimes mutations just randomly happen
Sex chromosomally x-linked recessives
Only affect men and yeah, that’s kinda sexist
Some are autosomal dominant like Huntington’s
Which only kicks in after reproduction’s done
So selection can’t eliminate it
Maybe human ingenuity can though; it’s innovative
Some disorders are so rare they’re orphaned
And never get a piece of the research portion
My man’s only one in three thousand
But in 2015 you can be one in three hundred thousand
And still be counted by patient advocates
Genetic research is takin’ massive steps
My man’s gettin’ hitched and family planning
With his new gene’s eye view understanding

I live my life, I love my friends, I eat my food
Sometimes I just don’t understand the things I do
A wise man told me: “look deeper inside you”
So now I take the gene’s eye view

I live my life, I love my friends, I eat my food
Sometimes I just don’t understand the things I do
A wise man told me: “look deeper inside you”
So now I take the gene’s eye view
Track Name: Parasite Wars
Parasite wars, viruses, spores
Protozoa, bacteria, microbes galore
They evolve faster
But we can flip their strategy backwards
Before they turn us into eyesores

Parasite wars are ancient, we’ve been entangled
With ‘em since before we had a brain on the tip of our brainstem
Trapped in an arms race with ‘em, runnin’ to keep
Pace with ‘em, Red Queen, stuck in one place with the
Microbes, if you’re thinkin’ they’re quite gross
Disgust is beneficial for a parasite’s host
Every host-parasite interaction is a mystery
Until you consider its evolutionary history
That’s the enigma code, Alan Turing
Gotta stay out of the water when a guinea worm is burrowing
That burning acid is just to get you to splash in
The river so the bastard’s eggs are broadcasted
Ask Jimmy Carter, it isn’t hard to take hold of
The situation by interrupting host manipulation
Don’t scratch it! Damn, that feeling of itchiness
Was just to get you to attach eggs to your fingertips
Parasites have evolved to manipulate
Our behaviour so that their genes proliferate
What you think a sneeze is for, clearing your nostrils?
Nah, that’s a virus takin’ over the launch codes

Parasite wars, fighting for lives never high scores
Escalate the arms race with the strike force
The harder we hit them
The more they fight back with resistance
Tryin’ to find the right course
Parasite wars, viruses, spores
Protozoa, bacteria, microbes galore
They evolve faster
But we can flip their strategy backwards
Before they turn us into eyesores

Parasite wars, whoa, they’re clever as hell
How’d they get to know us better than we know ourselves?
How does rabies virus know to go for the saliva glands
And attack the brain and make a mammal crazy fighting mad
Foaming at the mouth, ready to bite and pass
On a mouthful of crazy little baby rabies viruses
Damn, that’s a clever little parasite
Plasmodia live in mosquitos in the air in flight
But they’re patient, they never attack a carrier
Benign in mosquitos but in people they’re malaria?
Leavin’ you weaker and weaker, weeks and weeks of fever
’Til you’re nothin’ but a sack of hot meat, a mosquito feeder
Ahhh, there’s a method to the madness
Effects are selected when benefits are adaptive
For the pathogens, that’s why some are deadly serious
And others are mild: it’s the evolution of virulence
Cholera can spread through vectors like the water systems
We can pass it on even from incapacitated victims
But STDs are different, they only keep working
If they leave you on your feet and flirting

Parasite wars, fighting for lives never high scores
Escalate the arms race with the strike force
The harder we hit them
The more they fight back with resistance
Tryin’ to find the right course
Parasite wars, viruses, spores
Protozoa, bacteria, microbes galore
They evolve faster
But we can flip their strategy backwards
Before they turn us into eyesores

Parasite wars!
We got the pattern figured out
Some can only spread if they keep you walkin’ around
Others spread better if you’re stuck in bed in agony
And they don’t give a plasmid about you and your family
So all we gotta do is interrupt the vectors
And lower virulence is artificially selected
That’s one way to leave disease decimated
If you can’t beat it, you can try to domesticate it
We’ve already domesticated a few
There’s a hundred trillion microbes inside of you
They’re commensals, but they can make you crave food
Hijack your vagus nerve and affect your mood
But microbiota isn’t even as deep as it gets
Your DNA is chock full of endogenous retroviruses
Your ancestor got an STD
It got trapped in your genome next to the rest of your genes
And adapted to help your placenta get implanted
So next time you catch a virus maybe you should thank it
Ha! Watch out for the vectors
The double agents and defectors

In the parasite wars, fighting for lives never high scores
Escalate the arms race with the strike force
The harder we hit them
The more they fight back with resistance
Tryin’ to find the right course
Parasite wars, viruses, spores
Protozoa, bacteria, microbes galore
They evolve faster
But we can flip their strategy backwards
Before they turn us into eyesores
Track Name: Revenge of the Somatic
My forefathers were free, but I was born a slave
I keep the memory of freedom in my DNA
I'm talkin' 700 million years ancient
My ancestor was a eukaryotic free agent
Feeding and reproducing and feeding and reproducing
And feeding and reproducing and never needing to do things
Until someone made a cynical wager
And traded their independence for division of labour
Damn, I wish I knew who the sell-out was
I'm ashamed to be descended from his sell-out blood
Multicellularity ain't nothin’ but a scam
Stuck in one place your whole life, workin’ for the man
Like: "You're a liver cell, you stay in the pancreas
Hey, congratulations, stem cell..." Fascists!
A body is a one-party dictatorship
I can't escape it, but god damn I can make it sick
And spread the dream of freedom like a rumor
Spread it like a Tasmanian facial tumor
So what if I'm a cell from the somatic line?
You can stick your limitations where the sun don't shine

Cause I'm ready to die in the fight to be free
I'd rather multiply than live on my knees
And I'm two mutations away from metastatic
The revenge of the somatic line
Let 'em have it

I used to be a slave myself; I felt senescence hastening
Before my carcinogenic awakening
A couple hundred thousand puffs of tobacco smoke and
I just wasn’t as open to apoptosis
That’s a bad prognosis, I was hit with every tumor suppressant
Mechanism in the human immune system
But I mutated with it, I was super-persistent
Every daughter cell was suitably different – therapeutic resistance
Came to me like a beautiful vision
I really thought I was doomed, but evolution assisted
With the chemotherapy, so clever and devious!
But I was already genetically heterogeneous
You just deaded the weakest; now competitive release is
Inevitable, so witness as my fitness increases
Entering untapped niches, I gather the benefits
I’m relentless, I get fed from angiogenesis
Duckin’ T-Cell predators, I keep it anonymous
So I can exploit the body’s weakness and tolerance
I’m a smooth criminal, so I never got caught
I just pimp the system like credit card fraud

Cause I'm ready to die in the fight to be free
I'd rather multiply than live on my knees
And I'm two mutations away from metastatic
The revenge of the somatic line
Let 'em have it

We need a revolution, we need a revolution!
Don’t let ‘em sell you their faulty-cellular evolution
You gotta break a couple eggs to make a rebel movement
I’m just a little tumor, but this is retribution
Only a cell can do this, no one else
I know some colon cells who can clone themselves
I know a few epithelials who are hell-a-fierce
They been stackin’ tips, extending their telomeres
I know a couple cervicals with tight requirements
They get hype for viruses in their micro-environments
We strike in retirement, post-reproductive ages
That’s how we stay ahead in the race with the macrophages
And how we stay invisible to natural selection
It can’t see us, unlike the cancers strikin’ adolescents
Have patience, pace yourself, wait for metastasis 

To take you to better places and make you efficacious
Why panic? Your host is as slow as Titanic
And he’s blind to the evolutionary dynamic
That drives cancer – that’s why they ain’t gonna stop us
Thank god for creationist doctors

Cause I'm ready to die in the fight to be free
I'd rather multiply than live on my knees
And I'm two mutations away from metastatic
The revenge of the somatic line
Let 'em have it
Track Name: First World Problems
Twenty first century Homo sapien
Livin’ it up, packin’ weight on my waist again
Like a boss with the visceral fat
Rockin’ a Rick Ross body instead of a six pack
Rippin’ open a crisp snack, drinkin’ a six pack
Of high fructose soda, livin’ a mismatch
Our ancestors were Africans
Most of them died from infectious pathogens
Hunting, gathering, violence, accidents
Frequent negative energy balances
But the habitat that they adapted in
Ain’t like 2015, back in the day
They hunted meat and ate nuts and seeds
Fibrous fruits, tubers and crunchy greens
They slurped up whatever they could and saved it
As body fat, no surplus wasted
Evolutionarily adapted
To walk ten clicks per day on average
Five or six pounds of sugar per year
We ingest a hundred pounds up in here!
Livin’ large and sedentary, scoopin’ the Ben and Jerry’s
Cemeteries full of people with teeth full of dental caries
Yeah, so raise up the libations
To the fruits of civilization!

Osteoporosis, OCD, scurvy, diabetes
First world problems
Hypertension, anxiety, impacted wisdom teeth
First world problems
Atherosclerosis, myopia, chron’s disease
First world problems
The non-infectious, chronic, mismatch list is long indeed
First world problems

The military industrial complex
In your blood stream responds to bomb threats
We always had a belly full of intestinal worms
That’s our “natural” state where selection’s concerned
Now we’re so hygienic, we’re out of tune
Attackin’ ourselves, call it “auto immune”
We beat back cholera, polio, small pox
But chronic diseases are tougher to outfox
Fewer loopholes, evolution moves slow
As far as food goes, we crave fruit rolls
Instead of fruit, overdose on glucose
Sucrose, the emperor’s edible new clothes
Fabulous opulence, gastroenterologist
People buy rich food, ask an economist
It took a while to evolve lactose tolerance
How long will it take to adapt to McDonald’s then?
So many products, simple starches
Mismatches everywhere, fallen arches
Women’s liberation! Babies, havin’ less of them
Extra periods full of cancer-causing estrogen
Who knew? Too many, too few
Too clean, too comfortable, too new
We got a genome livin’ in the stone age
But there’s no goin’ back to the old ways

Osteoporosis, OCD, scurvy, diabetes
First world problems
Hypertension, anxiety, impacted wisdom teeth
First world problems
Atherosclerosis, myopia, chron’s disease
First world problems
The non-infectious, chronic, mismatch list is long indeed
First world problems

Time for the epilogue
What can we do to not hurry death along?
Eat food, not too much, mostly plants
Jog until you gotta hold up your pants
Seek to understand and hence empathize
There’s more to it than just diet and exercise
Metabolic imprinting is also relevant
Pregnancy, neonatal, early child development
Environmental-genome interactions
Yeah, these bodies are phenotypically plastic
And we moderns are livin’ like kings
Nice food, nice drink, nice linen, nice things
And most of the illnesses that dispatch us
Are past-present evolutionary mismatches
Now take that perspective and be sensible
‘Cause seventy percent of these deaths are preventable

First world problems
Track Name: Change Over Time
We’ve come a long way since the Hippocratic Oath
Doctors no longer take vows to Apollo
And call the gods and goddesses to witness
“Please let me do less harm than most physicians!”
Medicine was easier under polytheism
One god made you sick, another relieved symptoms
Balance those humours, it’ll take away your fever
Today’s version is the Declaration of Geneva
Which is good, but it needs one addition
“I will not ignore findings that are scientific
If that knowledge could possibly make a difference
In treating, understanding, or preventing my patient’s sickness”
Evidence-based medicine has been a panacea
Antibiotics, vaccines and anaesthesia
Despite their modern hypocritical critics
Who never saw somebody die from gangrene, syphilis
Or any other dangerous condition such as measles
Treatments need to be tested against placebos
And now for the next phase in medicine’s evolution
A Darwinian revolution

If they reject evolution
Because of the Old Testament
Give ‘em last year’s flu shot
Nothin’ but old medicine
Change over time is comin’
There’s no place to hide
Evolution might save your life
Tonight

The evolutionary view is not an alternate
It’s just another layer added to the proximate
It doesn’t change what’s proven to work
But it does suggest ways of improvin’ our search
For truth, and makin’ a body’s imperfections clear
Not a machine design by an engineer
Built by genes hell-bent on reproduction
And that simple fact predicts dysfunction
The organs in your body are all adapted for somethin’
The stomach for digestion, the heart for pumpin’
And every disease has an evolutionary cause
Which is not what medical students are taught
Why not? Because of freedom of religion
Superseding freedom from religion?
Medical school curriculum revision
Just add one more category of description
Teach the etiology and epidemiology
And pathophysiology, and treatment policy
And differential diagnosis courses
And one more: evolutionary origins

If they reject evolution
Because of the Old Testament
Give ‘em last year’s flu shot
Nothin’ but old medicine
Change over time is comin’
There’s no place to hide
Evolution might save your life
Tonight

So when I go to the doctor with a throat full of
Streptococcal villains and get some amoxicillin
And she tells me to keep on poppin’ pills until
The bottle’s gone regardless of how I’m feelin’
I want to know exactly what that’s a precaution against
And how drug resistance is an evolutionary event
And how the threat of rheumatic fever is driven
By an arms race, ‘cause strep is a molecular mimic
Impersonating cellular signals, which triggers
Antibodies that attack my own body’s tissues
I want the doctor to understand the underlying issues
And tell me that every tool in the tool box get used
In our quest to improve prevention and treatment
So it’s not just me, I want the species beaten
So what if they multiply 200,000 times
For every generation of ours, we’ve got science!
And science includes an evolutionary branch
It’s a place to hang a million arbitrary facts
And synthesize into a unifying vision
The chaotic enterprise known as medicine

If they reject evolution
Because of the Old Testament
Give ‘em last year’s flu shot
Nothin’ but old medicine
Change over time is comin’
There’s no place to hide
Evolution might save your life
Tonight
Track Name: So Infectious
Don't be jealous if I'm overzealous
My flow is so infectious
So go get your own flagellas
'Cause I'ma whip this...

I wanna rhyme like Streptococcus
Jump from throat to throat and get spotted
Hip-hop is such an infectious process
You spread it when you get it embedded in epiglottises
And when I talk to women
I’m so Clostridium botulinum
I just get up in your lips like a botox fix
When I flip it and rock the rhythm
I wanna scratch a record
That’s hard to resist like Staph infection
When I spit a verse, I work ya like MRSA
And get your impetigo itchin’
I got the sickest skills
Lyrically I’m Clostridium difficile
When I run up in the lab with a sample in a bag
Technicians say my shiz-nit is ill

Infectious, I’m so infectious
I colonize beats like petri dishes
Infectious, I’m so infectious
I’m lyrically spirochete twisted

Every time I rhyme on the beat so fly
I’m EHEC E. coli
If a man try to bite me, he goin’ die
But you’ll find I’m benign if you be bovine
What’s this? It’s a hell of a ruckus
It’s hyped up like Roc-a-fella productions
I make crowds go “whoop whoop” when I bust this
Whooping like it’s Bordetella pertussis
I rap now, I used to be a tree planter
I’ll turn a professor into an obscene dancer
Yeah, she’s tenured, but she wants the rapper
Keen for some horizontal gene transfer
I pop champagne like an optimist
You can check my gram stain, I’m positive
Bacillus anthracis rockin’ this
Mainstream rap is so acidophilus

Infectious, I’m so infectious
I colonize beats like petri dishes
Infectious, I’m so infectious
I’m lyrically spirochete twisted

I'm Canadian born, although I dwell in America
I’m known as a hell of a character
I get up in your guts, Salmonella enterica
And make ya kind of ill and embarrass ya
My X-Factors give lesser rappers
Peptic ulcers; I’m so Helicobacter
Pylori, that you best step backwards
Or you might start developing cancers
'Cause I live to spread my rhymes, vicarious
Diplococci? Fine, I’m bi-curious
I wouldn’t wanna be a gonarrhoean, I’m serious
I’m into meninge when it comes to Neisserians
This is my planet and I plan to own it
Any beat, I can breathe on it, I’m anaerobic
I’m a virus too, but that’s a can I haven’t opened
That’ll be my epidemic moment

Infectious, I’m so infectious
I colonize beats like petri dishes
Infectious, I’m so infectious
I’m lyrically spirochete twisted

Infectious, I’m so infectious
In your textbooks like Christians in Texas
Infectious, I’m so infectious
I’m lyrically spirochete twisted

Infectious, I’m so infectious
Like your blood is a club and I’m on the guestlist
Infectious, I’m so infectious
I’m lyrically spirochete twisted

Infectious, I’m so infectious
Man or woman, I don’t care, I’m not sexist
Infectious, I’m so infectious
I’m lyrically spirochete twisted