Cryptography Rap

The rapper MC Plus+ has written a song about cryptography, "Alice and Bob." It mentions DES, AES, Blowfish, RSA, SHA-1, and more. And me!

EDITED TO ADD (5/8): An article about "geeksta rap."

Posted on May 5, 2006 at 12:47 PM • 44 Comments

Comments

probitasMay 5, 2006 1:12 PM

Rapping, giant squid...

Do the benefits of reading this blog never end?!?!?! Thanks, Bruce!

Ed T.May 5, 2006 1:15 PM

Did someone mention "rapping, giant squid"? I would certainly pay to see that!

;-)

~EdT.

TammyMay 5, 2006 1:33 PM

Here's the bit where Bruce is mentioned:

DES is wrong if you listen to NIS
Double DES ain't no better man, that got Dis'ed
Twofish for AES, that was Schneier's wish
Like a shot from the key
Rijndael made the swish
But Blowfish is still the fastest in the land
And Bruce used the same to ECB and I'll crack your ciper text
Try CFB mode to keep everyone perplexed

From: www.mackmo.com/nick/blog/java/2005/7/26/CS-Gangsta-Rap.txt

CraigMay 5, 2006 1:37 PM

That is outstanding! I hope it doesn't get slashdotted, though....

KevMay 5, 2006 1:37 PM

Not quite as pollished as Kate Bush's song about Pi, but my, what a lot of algorithms! I'll never think of SHA1 in the same light again.

And Ron Rivest gets a mention too. Bless.

TimMay 5, 2006 1:41 PM

@Pat Cahalan
>Audio quality is jittery.

Are you using Quicktime on a Mac? The song seem to skip every few seconds...

Pat CahalanMay 5, 2006 1:45 PM

I just downloaded it to my desktop and played it here.

Well done, I'd say.

AnonymousMay 5, 2006 1:46 PM

"Are you using Quicktime on a Mac? The song seem to skip every few seconds"

Same here, with Safari. Firefox seems to have no playback problems, though.

Pat CahalanMay 5, 2006 1:48 PM

@ Anonymous

re: response

> Your mom circulates like a public key,
> Servicing more requests than HTTP.
> She keeps all her ports open like Windows ME
> Oh, there's so much drama in the PhD.

"Yo mamma" digs in geek crypto rap? What's next, a face off with nerf guns out in the playground?

Paul JohnsonMay 5, 2006 1:48 PM

Trivia point: I'm pretty certain the "password confirmed" voice at the end was ripped from Babylon 5. Which is also cool.

arlMay 5, 2006 1:51 PM

I don't know what is worse: A rap song about crypto or the fact that he seems to know more about cryptosystems than most IT managers......

DarrelMay 5, 2006 2:06 PM

That is the nerdiest thing I have ever heard. No wonder people make fun of us.....

Kevin S.May 5, 2006 2:39 PM

No other nerd rapper has kicked it harder since Lamar Latrell.

mud and flameMay 5, 2006 2:51 PM

The posted version of the lyrics is missing some words. I think it's:

But Blowfish is still the fastest in the land
And Bruce used his name to make a few grand.
Use ECB and I'll crack your ciphertext.
Try CFB mode to keep everyone perplexed.

KerubMay 5, 2006 2:55 PM

I wonder if there will be also a salsa version starring Alicia and Roberto...

1915bondMay 5, 2006 3:17 PM

"I wonder if there will be also a salsa version starring Alicia and Roberto..."

Only if it passes ITAR regs....

AnonymousMay 5, 2006 3:19 PM

As a fan of rap, that was terrible. As a fan of cryptography, it was wonderful. So conflicted...

LobsterMay 5, 2006 3:27 PM

>"Yo mamma" digs in geek crypto rap? What's next, a face off with nerf guns out in the >playground?

No, nerf drive bys.

aikimarkMay 5, 2006 5:44 PM

From http://www.mackmo.com/nick/blog/java/2005/7/26/...

DES is wrong if you listen to NIS
Double DES ain't no better man, that got Dis'ed
Twofish for AES, that was Schneier's wish
Like a shot from the key
Rijndael made the swish
But Blowfish is still the fastest in the land
And Bruce used the same to ECB and I'll crack your ciper text
Try CFB mode to keep everyone perplexed

==========================
seems like there's some nerd rap sub-genre with Monzy being another player.

AnonymousMay 5, 2006 9:26 PM

valerie wilson is doing a book about the cia. the reports are it's a $2.5 million deal.
good for her? the rappers make more than that on a cd of crap. maybe she can renegotiate. i might be able to get her $8-9 million. the book could make twice that. what's important?

Davi OttenheimerMay 5, 2006 10:24 PM

Reminds me of the sort of thing Bill Nye the Science Guy would have as a segway.

Maybe you could do a show called Bruce Schneier the Crypto Guy?

antibozoMay 6, 2006 12:17 AM

Bruce, this'll be great for your street cred. :^) Congratulations.

Lord IllingworthMay 6, 2006 12:43 AM

I make the beats for MC Plus+. Mad love to all the real CS gangstas. A few key points on the lyrics:

"DES is wrong if you listen to NIST"
"Bruce used its fame to make a few grand"

Look for the new MC Plus+ album "Chip Hop" in a month or two. And for all you hip hop heads out there, we're trying to bring mad flavor on this next joint. Good ears on the cat that caught the B5 sample.

nihilisticMay 6, 2006 3:19 AM

This is so wrong I can hardly start to explain why. I think I'll listen to "Algorythum" now..

AnonymousMay 6, 2006 7:29 AM

street cred
so you want to make a big noise with the big boys? maybe this a part of a raptop computer marketing idea. paint your laptop with a brush. use cheap latex! put stickers and duct tape all over it. camo is nice if you got the time. make it look like junk to avoid having it stolen by some street thug looking for crack money. they know what they are looking for.

AnonymousMay 6, 2006 8:08 AM

What I meant was, could someone find ALL the lyrics to the FULL song, not just those 8 or so lines.

Thanks

Alan PorterMay 6, 2006 4:00 PM

> No other nerd rapper has kicked it harder...

If you like nerd rap, you might like http://www.mchawking.com/ To hear the MP3's, click on Multimedia tab.

My favorite is "Entropy". The lyrics are not for sensitive ears, but the whole gangsta physicist idea is just hardcore funny.

Anonymous CowardMay 6, 2006 6:13 PM

Woohoo!

Bruce is famos now... pop that champaign alrighty!

:D :P ;)

KrunchMay 7, 2006 4:29 AM

Computer songs and poems
http://www.poppyfields.net/filks/

Monzy did two songs too:
http://www.monzy.com/intro/drama_lyrics.html
http://www.monzy.com/intro/...
http://www.monzy.com/?p=158

« The producer asked me how my music combined the elements of computer science and gangsta rap, and I said “well, for example, in the music world when someone is ‘unsigned’ it means they haven’t signed a contract with a record label. But in computer science an unsigned integer is one that’s always interpreted as positive; the most significant bit is used to double the positive range instead of specifying the sign.��?

“That’s a little complicated,��? she said, “do you have a simpler example?��?

“OK,��? I said, “uh, in computer science, ‘linear probing’ is a technique for resolving collisions in hash tables, but clearly in this context it’s referring to sex.��?

“I don’t get it,��? she said.

“Well, a hash table is this data structure with efficient…��?

“No, I mean I don’t get how linear probing refers to sex.��? »

AGMay 8, 2006 8:58 AM

When you get invited to the PB Mansion don't forget all us little people. :-D

GMMay 8, 2006 8:58 AM

Correction: I believe it should be

"DES is wrong if you listen to NIST"

I wonder if there's a version with the s-word bleeped out? I'd be able to send it to people at work ...

DragonHunterMay 8, 2006 9:52 AM

Oh my....this guy has really, really, bad rythmn. But it is funny. Geek Gansta Rap. What next? This has got to be like one of the smallest niche markets I've heard of yet.....

Old DU FanMay 8, 2006 12:34 PM

The band Digital Underground had a song, "Underwater Rimes" off the "Sex Packets" album that featured M.C. Blowfish as the lead rapper.

I think that would have been a nice starting point for the joke. :-)

Lord IllingworthMay 12, 2006 12:58 PM

First, there actually *is* a clean version of Alice and Bob. Is that someone that people would like available?

Second, for those who wanted all the lyrics. (Lyrics for the other songs are all printed inside the jacket of the album, should you care to purchase it.)

Alice and Bob

Alice is sending her message to Bob
Protecting that transmission is crypto’s job
Without the help of our good friend Trent
It’s hard to get that secret message sent

Work tries to deposit a check of your salary
But with no crypto it’ll be changed by Mallory
You think no one will see what it is you believe
But you should never forget there’s always an Eve


(Chorus)
‘Cause I’m encrypting sh*t like every single day
Sending data across the network in a safe way
Protecting messages to make my pay
If you hack me, you’re guilty under DMCA

DES is wrong if you listen to NIST
Double DES ain’t no better, man, that got dissed
Twofish for AES that was Schneier’s wish
Like a shot from the key, Rijndael made the swish

But Blowfish is still the fastest in the land
And Bruce used its fame to make a few grand
Use ECB and I’ll crack your cipher text
Try CFB mode to keep everyone perplexed

(Chorus)

Random numbers ain’t easy to produce
Do it wrong and your key I’ll deduce
RSA only public cipher in the game
Creating it helped give Rivest his fame

If we could factor large composites in poly time
We’d have enough money to not have to rhyme
Digesting messages with a hashing function
Using SHA-1 or else won’t cause dysfunction

(Chorus)

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