March 26, 2012
David Graeber in rap
by Kelly Burdick
Melville House author David Graeber is the star of “Barter That,” a parody of Young Money’s “Roger That” video produced by students in a York University anthropology class. In the song, Graeber’s rethinking of the history of barter (from Debt: The First 5,000 Years), is channeled by Ajay, who goes by the name “Young Brown Graeber”:
Call me Young Brown Graeber, an Adam Smith hater/
who says barter came first, money comes later/
but that’s just a myth; down on paper/
when really money came first, and barter came later/
Check the ethnography, of barter economies/
the history is complex, listen man follow me/
Down to Australia, I’m ballin with the wallabies/
heading to dzamalog to cop me some cloth and beads/
Other stars include “The Barter King” (who seems to hope for a return of barter economies), “Nikita Minaj” (who thanks Adam Smith for her prosperity), and “Lil’ Waist” (who thinks the whole barter debate a bit academic, “money talks, this ain’t 3500 B.C.”).
The video below gets started with an interview about the song; the song itself gets going at the 3:00 minute mark.
Kelly Burdick is the former executive editor of Melville House.