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Billionaire LinkedIn Founder Thinks Bitcoin Rap Battle Will Heal Divided Nation

Reid Hoffman made a dumb music video about Bitcoin and got his rich friends to tweet about it to "explore some of the most polarizing issues that characterize our own era."

by Jason Koebler
Sep 6 2019, 3:20pm

Image: Reid Hoffman/LinkedIn

Billionaire LinkedIn founder and venture capitalist Reid Hoffman just funded and produced a parody rap battle music video between founding father Alexander Hamilton and the pseudonymous Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. With the video, Hoffman becomes the latest billionaire to promote the cryptocurrency with musical numbers.

The video pits Hamilton, credited with pushing the U.S. to adopt a central bank, against Nakamoto, who created a decentralized cryptocurrency. These types of parodies are common in the cryptocurrency world; bad Bitcoin rap has become its own genre on YouTube.

Bitcoin Rap Battle Debate: Hamilton vs. Satoshi (BITCOIN GIVEAWAY) [feat. EpicLloyd, TimDeLaGhetto]” is notable only in that it was funded by a billionaire and promoted by his billionaire and millionaire friends: “Watch about Bitcoin,” former Google CEO Eric Schmidt enthusiastically tweeted. “hahahahaha,” Ashton Kutcher, who definitely watched the video, tweeted.

Hoffman does not star in the video, which features dozens of actors, rappers, and a cast of extras pulled in from the world of cryptocurrency, but is credited as a writer and the executive producer. Hoffman said he believes battle rap is a rhetorical device that will break through in these troubled, polarizing times and will help us settle some of society’s most pressing beefs, such as whether Bitcoin is GOOD or BAD.

“Like thousands of others who’ve seen Hamilton, I was delighted and amazed by [Hamilton musical creator Lin-Manuel] Miranda’s musical vision and talent. And I was particularly struck by his two ‘Cabinet Battle’ songs, and the way he used battle rap to express the opposing viewpoints that informed the issues and debates underlying fundamental moments in America’s development,” Hoffman wrote on LinkedIn. “Since then, I’ve been intrigued by the idea of using battle rap to explore some of the most polarizing issues that characterize our own era.”

Hoffman said that when he watched Hamilton he realized that rap battles are a "form of discourse where extremely attentive listening routinely occurs."

“These days, however, debate often consists of little more than ad hominem attacks, synchronized shouting, and reflexive efforts to abort any competing perspective with charges of, as our factually allergic President puts it, ‘FAKE NEWS!’ There’s lots of noise but very little listening,” he said.

Anyways, while Hoffman was promoting this video, a member of the jury for an award Hoffman funds at the MIT Media Lab publicly accused him of protecting a man who accepted more than a million dollars in funding from billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Perhaps they can settle this with a rap battle.

Reid Hoffman