B.C.-born rapper Baba Brinkman has tackled big scientific topics in such theatrical works as the Rap Guide to Evolution and the Rap Guide to Climate Chaos.
Now, just over a week before Halloween and less than two weeks before the U.S. presidential election, Brinkman is back with another ambitious project.
His just-released "Ballad of a Zombie" was created with the help of scientific consultants Athena Aktipis, Joe Alcock, and the Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Alliance.
And it demonstrates very vividly what can happen when an external organism takes over our minds or our bodies.
This doesn't just happen in movies like Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later or Stephen Soderbergh's Contagion.
Here's how the alliance defines a zombie: "An individual whose physiology and behavior are (fully or partially) under the control of a genetically distinct individual or population of individuals."
That could include a microbe, fungus, autonomous technology, or through membership in a religious cult.
The music for "Ballad of a Zombie" was written, produced, mixed, and mastered by Mr. Simmons.
Brinkman's video benefited from additional vocals by Aaron Ross, animation by Anna C. Gilmore, zombie illustrations by Neil Smith, and parasite illustrations by Noel Planet. It was edited by Robert De Jesus.
If you pay close attention, you'll even see a mention of Maxime Bernier, founder of the right-wing populist People's Party of Canada.
Zombie research lives on
The Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Alliance is a very real group, which is affiliated with Arizona State University. It's focusing on "understanding and treating diseases that arise from extreme physical and social conditions". That includes "the study of the genetic and evolutionary basis for our strengths and vulnerabilities in extreme environments".
"Humans and most other species have been shaped by billions of years of zombie resistance evolution," the alliance states. "Zombie resistance evolution is a co-evolutionary process wherein hosts evolve mechanisms of resistance to mind control/manipulation and parasites evolve increasingly sophisticated strategies in response. This evolutionary arms-race means that hosts must continue evolving in response to manipulation strategies."