When it comes to Pope Francis’ eco-centric papal encyclical, there’s plenty to get excited about. In just 184 pages, Francis has managed to inject a sense of theological urgency into the ongoing environmental conversation over climate change. Part introspective religious musing, part fiery invective against those the Pope sees as responsible for our planet’s continuing ecological deterioration, “Laudato Si” (lit: “Praise be to You”) is a wholly remarkable document for not only its message, but for the reactions has already elicited from across the religious and political spectrums.
Still, as far as reactions go, you’d be hard pressed to find a better one than that of a nightclub crowd the moment actress/comedian Bridey Elliott leaves the stage, only to be followed by il papa, spitting bar after hot bar, dropping punchlines, and ultimately, dropping the mic.
Okay, so that’s not actually Jorge Mario Bergoglio. It is, in fact, one of Heeb‘s longtime favorite rappers, MC Paul Barman. Admittedly, a guy who spent years rapping about yarmulke bras and tossing chocolate Hannukah gelt to crowds is not the first person we’d expect to play the Pope. But, as you can plainly see, it works really, really well.
So, how’d this come to pass? As Barman explained to me:
A great friend of mine initially asked me to just write the rhyme but the more we brainstormed the more obvious it became that I should perform it too. I’ve never had a fake crowd before, that blew my mind.
Despite being slightly new territory, Barman not without familiar faces backing him up. His dope Pope is backed by longtime collaborator, DJ Memory Man (would that the Pontiff had such a friend on the 1s and 2s).
As for why this particular encyclical, coming from this particular Pope has struck such a chord, Barman speculates: “We’re all starving for leaders who will not only state the obvious but also do it with the appropriate level of vehemence.”
Perhaps the real Pope Francis should think about dropping that Papal ferula, and picking up a mic, instead.