Greydon Square is an Atheist Icon?

Martin Cizmar of the Phoenix New Times has a feature article on atheist rapper Greydon Square:

Without a doubt, Greydon Square is as contradictory and complex a figure as you’ll find making music in Phoenix. Not that most people know all that stuff. Internationally — and this ASU student you’ve probably never heard of has an international fan base — he’s known chiefly as “that atheist rapper.”

Thanks to name-checking by Richard Dawkins (for organized atheists, the equivalent of an Oprah endorsement) and a somewhat hilarious/puzzling/scary Web drama, he’s the major atheist in rap music.

They talk about his altercation with Brian Sapient at last summer’s AHA convention, too.

The most prominent event was an altercation with his former manager, Brian Sapient, founder of the Rational Response Squad, a militant atheist organization. Accounts vary, but in a dispute about CD sales at a secular humanist convention in Washington, D.C., Greydon assaulted Sapient, for which he was put on probation. The event touched off a firestorm of online bickering among everyone involved.

It wasn’t a pretty scenario. And it put a damper on the convention for several of the students who were there. The Secular Student Alliance had paid for him to travel to and perform at the convention. That never happened because of his fight.

I’m actually surprised the New Times found Greydon. He promised to pay us back for not performing. He hasn’t kept that promise and he hasn’t responded to any of our emails.

It’s too bad. He’s a talented guy who has severed the ties he had with national atheist organizations when he could’ve been the king.

  • David D.G.

    …he could’ve been the king.

    Greydon is a rapping atheist Elvis impersonator?

    ~David D.G.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/guitarsean SeanG

    I’ve heard several interviews with him and he seems really cool. He’s certainly working in an area of music untouched by anyone else. Unfortunately it seems that being an atheist doesn’t keep you away from the thug life that surrounds rap and hip hop. I hope we can call him out in public here and he’ll live up to the commitments he’s made. He could be a leading voice for the atheist community in an area where we probably don’t get heard much at all.

  • «bønez_brigade»

    Thanks to name-checking by Richard Dawkins (for organized atheists, the equivalent of an Oprah endorsement) [...]

    Errrr, not quite. Dawkins is not a pusher of pseudoscience and all other things bunkum.

  • http://www.nexusofassholery.blogspot.com Patrick Ross

    As I understand the entire situation, the matter was actually kind of simple:

    If you’re going to roll with a rapper, you don’t fuck with the ends. Otherwise, you’re taking your chances.

    Too bad I didn’t hear about this whole thing a year ago when the Rational Response Squad as still, you know… relevant.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7iQRFP_e90 Tor Hershman

    Now HERE’s an Atheist song, for sure thingy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_m6qC6FCiY0

  • Conor

    People don’t seem to know that Greydon Square has bipolar disorder and I’ve heard, though I can’t prove, that this played a part in him snapping at that convention when the altercation over the CD sales happened. He came out and apologised. From what I’ve read he’s been quieter since it, but I look forward to his return.

  • http://www.bradleclerc.com Brad Leclerc

    Heh, I remember that…I was still hanging out with a lot of RRS people back then. Greydon was usually pretty cool, the few times I spoke with him anyway heh.

    Sapient was always at a pretty high risk of sudden cases of bat-shit insanity…

  • Tom

    I have spent some time around Greydon on the net, and in that time developed a favorable image of him. That was definitely validated when I got to meet him in person. I really like him, and I like his attitude towards theists, especially christians. He has been through a lot in his life, and is wiser then the average person. His famous shortcomings have more to do with his life experiences, I believe, than with bipolar or a thirst for the thug lyfe.

    Waiting for the next album!

  • Tennison

    Um, no.

    Anyone who has the pomposity and arrogance to declare themselves the “Black Carl Sagan” is sorely, sorely mistaken. Not only is he a really shitty rapper, but, having listened to a number of interviews, is a total ass who can’t reason himself out of a freaking paper bag.

    “Atheist rap”:atheists::Michael W. Smith or Twila Paris:Christians

    I’m completely embarrassed that this guy, spewing his tasteless doggerel and tripe, is actually represented at conferences–paid for and endorsed.

    The less he his seen or heard, the better.

    Hearing Greydon Square is as embarrassing to atheists as the following video is to Christians:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYrKgrkIrg8#t=01m34s

  • http://www.nexusofassholery.blogspot.com Patrick Ross

    Not to mention that the guy has the gall to write a song, call it “The Dream”, compare himself to Martin Luther King, and apparently forget all along that Dr Martin Luther King was also Reverend Martin Luther King.

    Call me crazy, but I suspect that Dr King would take issue with GS’ goal of “ending religion”, as expressed in so many of his songs.

    To top it all off, I’ve always wondered why it is that individuals who are evidently so threatened by the beliefs of others are so often complaining about being attacked for theirs.

    Well, not really. I actually find it amusing.

  • Brooks

    Not only is he a really shitty rapper, but, having listened to a number of interviews, is a total ass who can’t reason himself out of a freaking paper bag.

    I can’t say anything about his personality, but I agree that the few times I’ve heard songs of his, I thought he was a mediocre singer at best, incredibly cheesy at worst. It felt like to me he was putting atheist debates on Internet forums to cheesy rap tunes more than actual singing. But then, I think most rap music in general is kind of cheesy. Bad religion totally pwns Greydon Square any day.

  • Vincent

    I like his music. I think his lyrics are clever and his voice is good.
    I look forward to more music from him.
    I also look forward to a time when people stop looking to musicians in general for character emulation.

  • Lyle

    I don’t care much for rap or hip-hop, but I do like GS’s music. It’s not that he is a great singer, but the message in his music is far better than the message in most rap. GS seemed nice when I met him at the AAI ’07 convention. I don’t know what happened between GS and Brian, but I can’t excuse the violence just because GS is bipolar. From what I understand, GS decided to go off his meds, so the bipolar issue is moot. It was GS’s decision, so he is responsible for the consequences of going off his meds, and he should be held accountable for the consequences of going off his meds.

    When I consider going to future conventions, I look to see if GS will be there. If he will be there, I am less likely to go.

    I really hope GS is able to keep his bipolar problems under control.


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