When most rappers drop science, it's usually just a wild rhyme. Michael Wilson, aka Coma Niddy, drops actual science: black holes, water bears, rogue planets and proper flossing technique.
While working in the digital media department at the New York Hall of Science in 2011, Wilson, on a whim, suggested making a music video about nanotechnology. It went mildly viral, and got written up in Wired. Since then, Wilson has filled his YouTube channel with educational bangers, covering everything from the Big Bang to face mites. He currently has more than 14,000 subscribers. But Wilson—now the assistant manager of OMSI's Teen Science Alliance program—didn't set out to become the rap game's Bill Nye.
"When I first started, I was aiming for adult nerds and geeks," he says. "I guess the visual style I had, which was also due to the limitation of my video production skills when it came to animation and stuff, began to resonate with younger audiences." Make no mistake, though—he's kept it pretty nerdy. What else do you call a parody of "Look at My Dab" reworked to shout out Dobsonian telescopes?
In terms of mic skills, no one's going to confuse Wilson with Kendrick Lamar. But that hasn't stopped him from becoming a celebrity, at least at his place of employment. "I've run into people at OMSI who go, 'Hey, you're that guy,'" he says. "And I go, 'Oh yeah, I am that guy.'"