Tom Chi  

World’s First HCI Rap: “We Got It”

February 6th, 2004 by Tom Chi :: see related comic

Check it: An OK/Cancel exclusive. We present to you “We Got It”, a song for the users. Representing our HCI, Usability, and Interaction Design brethren. Music and lyrics by our very own Tom Chi with vocals by Tom Chi and KC.

OK/Cancel - We Got It. Be prepared for serious HCI flava.

Yo — this is an OK/Cancel exclusive

for the first time in history:
HCI and hiphop together.

for your educational pleasure

now check this while I wreck with some buttons and levers

give me 10 seconds and I’ll start this endeavor

HCI? yo we got it

UCD? yo we got it

focus on usability, yeh we’re on it

champion the user to keep the work honest

that’s the task that’s upon us

that’s the task that’s upon us

So you say got an application to build

Market niche you going to fill with a product that’s a killer

You got ‘funding in the millions and a team that is willing

to follow any schedule that you set before them

But wait a sec here, I don’t see any HCI,

Man you’re headed for more drama than “Days of ‘our Lives”

you’re gonna end up with something that users despise

lest you get their feedback throughout the project timeline

So sit down — and listen to me

No one wants see their product become ancient history

Before you start rushing to build those interfaces

your best bet is make a set :: of simple use cases

They should describe what users actually do

and if that’s unknown, run a contextual inquiry too

Because your interface will never be easy to follow

lest you build it to match up with their cognitive models

After that generate a lot of designs

run them by some users even just 2 at a time

iterate and iterate and soon you’ll oblitherate

any interfaces which are wack or inconsiderate

that will help you mitigate support costs or generate

website hit rates and orders. So check it:

you’ll be taking profits instead of mounting losses

‘Cause you brought us in at-the front of the process

HCI? yo we got it

UCD? yo we got it

focus on usability, yeh we’re on it

champion the user to keep the work honest

that’s the task that’s upon us

that’s the task that’s upon us

So you’re just starting out, and want to know more?

design of everyday things will help you get through the door

and it takes less than 7 seconds, if your logged on

to scope an alertbox over at

now peruse on over to Shneiderman and Cooper

along with Steve Krug they stop interface bloopers

and when you got to check where the user’s head is at

best pick up a copy of Beyer and Holtzblatt

perhaps you’re a coder needing HCI bad? we got

peeps that speak your language, like Spolsky and Winograd

and lastly if you’re asking to see the larger picture

read Rosenfeld and Morville, and have Tufte chart it later

HCI? yo we got it

UCD? yo we got it

focus on usability, yeh we’re on it

champion the user to keep the work honest

that’s the task that’s upon us

that’s the task that’s upon us

HCI? yo we got it

UCD? yo we got it

focus on usability, yeh we’re on it

champion the user to keep the work honest

that’s the task that’s upon us

that’s the task that’s upon us

Alright, that will get ya’ll started.

Shout out to Snoop Toggy Togg, Eazy Z, LL Spool J, and other headz i didn’t get to mention here.

Userati unite - to keep the interactions clear. nice.

yo ima pass this over to KC now, check this out

Yo this KC in the UK

bringing usability from London to Van-city

if your ‘project goes pear-shaped then come get me

or perhaps that geezer the brilliant Tom Chi

all lightweights, clear out right

ok-cancel is here now

142 Responses to “World’s First HCI Rap: “We Got It””
Chris Law wrote:

Let me be the first to post and say: OH MY GOD

Way over the top and - I’m spreading it like wildfire.

Who do we credit this creation to?

Brian Frank wrote:

OK. This is f*&@#$(* funny.

Sent it to my whole HCI team.

You guys rock.

- Brian

Ric wrote:

world domination! you know this!

Tom Chi wrote:


Lyrics and music was written by me, with vocals performed by Kevin and myself. We also got a little musical advice from Danger Dave:

But we did it for the users, man. That’s the thing.

Chris McEvoy wrote:

I have not laughed so much in months. Thanks to Tom and KC for inventing hci-hop.

unraveled wrote:

Music Notes

I love music. However, I don’t talk about music very much on unraveled because I rarely have much to say…

Plasticnoodle wrote:

HCI Rap: “We Got It”

OK/Cancel: World’s First HCI Rap Nothing says lovin’ like when someone does a rap involving their passion; and this is one doozy. Their rhymes are the bomb, if I do say so myself….

Jonathan Feinberg wrote:

Yes, yes, yes, yes. wrote:

Now I’ve seen everything

I know most of you will just think this is pathetic, but the geek in me wants to bring the world’s first Human Computer Interfaces rap to your attention: HCI? yo we got it UCD? yo we got it focus…

g-chou in the hizzouse wrote:

yo, like, that shit was tight!

the good tom chi on the 1’s and 2’s, MC KC kickin’ it from around da way!


The Farm: The Tucows Developers' Hangout wrote:

HCI Rap?!

It figures…OK/Cancel,
believed to be the first comic devoted to usability issues, has just
put out what is believed to be the first HCI hip-hop number:

anil dash's daily links wrote:

world’s first interaction rap…

jt wrote:

Reminds me of MC:NP’s single “Algorithm of Love”. Check it out:

srah blah blah wrote:

‘And when you got to check where the user’s head is at/ Best pick up a copy of Beyer and Holtzblatt’

Remember back when I whinged that there were no songs for the HCI professional? Well, I can’t complain about that…

srah wrote:


Dre wrote:

HAHAHA, This is awesome.

Livia Labate wrote:

Da bomb! wrote:

Hip-hop HCI: The MP3 of 2004

This is Straight-up boo-yaa! HCI? yo we got it UCD? yo we got it focus on usability, yeh we’re on it champion the user to keep the work honest that’s the task that’s upon us Very good humor. Very good….

Arthur Law wrote:

Fantastic! Tomorrow is BayCHI, I’ll make sure lots of people hear about it!

Greg Turner wrote:

A friend-of-a-friend made the tech-nerd’s counterpart to this. MC:NP vs. DJ Ikstra, “The Algorithm of Love”:

(It’s not porn)

Greg Turner wrote:

Whoops. Double post. Popular, eh?

Made out of people wrote:

HCI: The Rap

OK/Cancel: World’s First HCI Rap: “We Got It” So sit down — and listen to me No one wants see their product become ancient history BEFORE you start rushing to build those interfaces your best bet is make a set…

datacloud wrote:

HCI Flava’

OK-Cancel (the web’s only usability comic strip) goes hiphop. (Link is to the section offering mp3 downloads—the comic is at the top.) This is one of those things that’s only funny if you start from the premise that it’s self-ir…

Rahel Bailie wrote:

A local Vancouverite told me about this. Fabulous! I’ll be sending this to more than one client / prospective client.

Ben Shneiderman wrote:

What fun! I’ve always said that we needed a SIGCHI or HCI theme song… now we got it!

my:dentity wrote:

SXSW: People’s Choice

For the 12 people that read this blog … go to and vote for OK/Cancel as the People’s Choice for best humor site! Pretty please. For the other 5-6,000 visitors coming from OK/Cancel, I hope you already voted. Maybe…

Infomusings Blog wrote:

wait just one minizzle

It’s an HCI rap. I vote that they go head to head in a battle of the rhymes with UNC’s own genius author of this and this….

Nobuya Sato wrote:

didi da!

Beth Loring wrote:

Unbelievable! This is so great! Thanks so much, you guys!

Tom Chi wrote:

Time for some nerdcore beef…

Yo this is a message for MC NP:
I’ma knock the leaves right off of your red black trees
’til you unbalanced, dropping lyrics inefficiently
I got your algorithms twisted up presently
as you compute who’s the dopest nerdcore MC

But yo, it’s an O(1) operation
I don’t need to look for optima, since I create them
I got you enervated and still looking torpid
‘cause you’re parsing my rhyme as your training corpus

I incorporate concepts which got your mind bent
sent you poking ’round slow on a gradient descent
launching theoretical content like cerebral mortars
now your neural net won’t converge beyond the first order

You think I’m frontin’ cause I represent the front end?
but I’m versed in your techniques and went on to learn something
about cognitive psych and while I’m gripping the mic
I’ll drop some design knowledge to keep aesthetics tight

HCI is the future - of man and machine
to shape the landscape of our shared destiny
all algo-geeks: you best not step to me
lest you get burned by some technical repartee

hahaha… anyway. I’m just messin’. Someone should phone up MC Frontalot and Deltron and get them in on this.

Bob Salmon wrote:

Most excellent rhymes. I think I’d place them at number 2, displacing my previous number 2 which is from Bonita Applebum by Tribe Called Quest:

Satisfaction, I’ve got the right tactics,
And if you want them I’ve got crazy prophylactics.

But still pipped to the post by the oldest of old school We’re Riding Along on the Crest of a Wave:

We’re keeping our eyes on
The distant horizon

KRS-one calls/called himself the Philosopher of Rap - what are you two?

Kevin Cheng wrote:

Wow! That’s REALLY high praise to oust the Tribe from your rankings. ESPECIALLY Bonita.

Fredy Ore wrote:

Yo! Dis da Bomb!

Reloade Journal wrote:

The HCI Rap: We Got It

Da hommies down at OK/Cancel are da bomb with the world exclusive HCI Rap and totally "sic" beats, "We Got…

Konrad Baumann wrote:

This is great! I will play this rap to our design students and I am sure it will boost the “coolness” of HCI and UCD in the eyes of the students. Thank you so much for this really great rap - let me call it an impulse tool for educational purposes. Best wishes from Austria, Europe (where CHI conference will take place this year).

Len Conte wrote:

“We Got It” is tsunamic…

or maybe even phenomenomic…

Steve Krug wrote:

What can I say? I guess it’d probably have to be, “I’m down with that.” My son will be *very* impressed that my name is in a rap song. (Now if only I could get mentioned on The Simpsons….)

Love the cartoons. Keep up the good work.

sounds from a heart murmur wrote:

holy crap, man, i can just see a couple of computer screen tanned nerds sitting in front of their computer…

Gavin Lew wrote:

Great marketing for HCI! Thanks. It made our office rock.

Rob wrote:

it fucken suck bitch

yo worst nitemare wrote:

yo gotta be kiddin me that is the worst piece of shiet i have ever heard…….try downloading Jin’s song Learn chinese and you mite pick up some stuff from there…..yall guys a disgrace

Tom Chi wrote:

To Yo Worst Nitemare and Rob:

Thanks for the tip, but I already know Chinese
You just proved to the readers that your worldview’s tiny
To all them haters who think that hiphop’s gotta be shiny
Best check some oldschool before dropping comments all whiny
I studied theoretical math while you struggled with eubonics
so I can drop ideas which move the world more than plate tectonics
I don’t need to mug a thug or carry guns to push my point
So if you think that’s what hiphop’s about best stay clear of this joint.

You might learn something. Scary stuff, I know.

HCI in KC wrote:

Intersting idea and deftly woven lyrics but you guys are definitely not rappers - Tu Pac and Biggie are turning in their graves but I bet they got a chuckle out of it nontheless - nice one for us HCI folks - unfortunatley, a baseline and a flo still cannot disguise the nerdiness of HCI though…somehow this almost makes it even worse! Keep shaking things up though - I’m currently working on the HCI yodel and the HCI polka myself ; )

Notes from Classy's Kitchen wrote:


Now you can pop rap your way to good user interfaces på rappin’ along to the OK/Cancel HCI rap. Text…

ConnorB wrote:

Dropping knowledge over beats!
Beats that are hard,
Beats that are funky,
Beats get you hooked,
Like a crack-head junky!

To paraphrase Q-Tip

uurf wrote:

Rob - how long did it take for you to come up with that comment? I mean just the spelling/grammar must’ve taken you a few hours - hours you’ll never get back, biznatch.

Yo Worst nitemare - zat all you got? Punk.

Tom - don’t sweat the haters. But then again, I already know you don’t.

MC:NP wrote:

MC:NP keepin it OLD SKOOL y’all. Represent.

They call me NP cos I’m non-polynomial
I’m the original algorithm Romeo
I bust rhymes and code every day
So listen close to the things that I say

Your interfaces are nothing but empty eye candy
Your users say they want it? Well that’s just dandy
But when what they need is some REAL computation
Your HCI nonsense is just graphic masturbation

I just clicked “go”,
Why’s my PC so slow?
Does anyone know?
Hey, nice hourglass though!

Antialiased text? Big whoop, so what’s next?
Go Matrix-stylee and plug into our necks?
If you wanna see some human computer interaction
come spend some time with the command line faction.

Peace out.

Ben wrote:

Too cool, you guys. Too cool.

Ari Spool wrote:

I hope this is not the last time I ever hear my father refered to as “LL Spool J.” In fact, I will send a personal letter of appreciation at anyone who refers to him as that when he is speaking. Tell him I told you to do it.

Tom Chi wrote:

Holy crap. It’s on!

N-P: You’re running on empty
I kill -9 you and wipe you from memory
don’t tempt me, to challenge you mentally
‘cause i’ll deprecate your functions and bar you from entry

Command line interface?
Man, while you’re tapping the keys
I visualize the whole network
and strike strategically

You tried to drop a rhyme, but before anyone heard it
I took down your posse in a denial of service
observe this - deft insertion of verbiage
that broke your elliptic curve - I know it’s unnverving


You don’t like the hourglass? - speaking of time
How many seconds did you spend factoring? like 10^9?
And all you got out of it was a Mersenne Prime?
There’s a lot more to life - check the rest of this rhyme:

HCI is the discipline that let’s us decide
how technology will extend our bodies and minds
to coincide with computation and use it as a tool
to redefine identity and societal rules

So if you’re still completely baffled and you don’t get my case, man
I suggest you stop coding and get out of your basement
get out in the sun; take a neighborhood tour
and see for yourself who we build technology for

Algorithms are nothing without greater purpose
and HCI is how we bring all this into focus
So while you flip 1’s and 0’s trying feebly to code ish
I’ma join two worlds and find the future in the locus

Chris McEvoy wrote:

Were you influenced by Dont Copy That Floppy?

MC:NP wrote:

You’re trying to tell me that HCI’s hip
But you guys are to blame for that damn paperclip
I think you’ve got enough things on your own plate
before you start dissing my processing substrate.

I’ll make a bet, jerk, that my neural network
can do your job better - copy you to the letter.
Here’s a couple of words that I’ll bet make you nervous
Ready now? Here you go: Web Service.

But no need to get bossy
We’re all the one posse
Is there something so wrong
with just getting along?

We’re nerdcore rappers and we’re speakin the truth
If you don’t believe us, yo go read Knuth
Programming’s an art
and we’ll tear you apart
with an optimised rhyme pointed straight at your heart.

Sure, our raps might just fill you with mirth
But remember, it’s the GEEKS who will inherit the earth.

Richard wrote:

Yo, we’re on it … all the dev boxes be spreading the work, like UCD … ‘cause we’re on it.

This is GREAT …


Nolan wrote:

Yo, this is too funny. But I was just wonderin’
Why you guys are arguin’ instead of collaberatin’

I’m no rapper, as you can probably tell
But great coding AND a great UI make software sell.

Tom Chi wrote:

That’s pretty nice. The battle has inspired our readers to rhyme. MC:NP is right - all nerdcore rappers should unite and take the earth the way only geeks can. Word.

Marie Tahir wrote:


If you’re available to play live at Intuit, let me know…

321 Blog wrote:

Tufte and Schneiderman Find a Home in “HCI Rap”

I thought you might be interested to know that Edward Tufte and Ben Schneiderman (the master of the nested tree-map)

Originality wrote:

Yo the rap is whack……never in my life have i ever heard something so retarded as this…..As an Asian….im really dissapointed in yall guys……makin up this crap is a disgrace……but nonetheless yall guys are nerds wit no life and probably spend time on the Net 24/7….so props to yall for making up the song…

Yo worst Nitemare wrote:

nigga dont make me start flowin since i can wipe your ass all ova tha flo if you know waht i mean…bring it nikka

Tom Chi wrote:

Nitemare… actually, it’s pretty much up to you to “bring it”. So far you’ve barely demonstrated that you can put a coherent sentence together, much less “flow”. Cheers.

Originality: As an asian I’m expecting you to drop some dope rhymes — so far you’re pretty good with the ellipsis.

To all would-be haters: I figured out some way to let you say your piece and still keep it interesting for the readers. If you’re going to drop a comment about how you got mad MC skills (or that we have none), then you better do so in rhyme. Anything less will be deleted. If you got the skills then we can spar (see MC:NP above), otherwise go learn something and come back when you have something to say.

sneaker wrote:

Lets get down with it! ;)

Anachronis-click wrote:

Yo, Yo

I’ll tap this one time, and one time only
Geekin’ used to be hard core, in Basic, and lonely
My apple II+ wuz shootin’ RGB quickly
Look out - FD 1, RT 1, Repeat 360.

Can you still parse that? java script jockey,
Frontin’ academic quasi-hip code: you’re cockey.
I got one message for you kids born so lately
Look out while I spray, with my TRS80!


christina wrote:


Tragically I am too hip challenged to write you a little rap, but please, keep the flava live.

Jason Hong wrote:

If only we could use your powers for good!

cheesebikini wrote:

dear sweet jesus, what abomination hath OK/Cancel wrought?

please discard your “precioussssssssss” ring before it destroys all humanity.

Tom Chi wrote:


When the Apple II+ hit, I was like 3,
but I started soon after on the Apple IIe
and what you talking about RGB?
that jounx was monochrone - naturally.

The way my code would flow in the cool green glow
if you think I’m new to the game, then you just don’t know
‘Cause when I got bored of BASIC and doing things gently
I’d break out of the shell and hack the assembly

thus hexadecimal is integral to my lexical
even tho modern techniques now roll in my decibels
You think we’re too young to understand what you speak of?
ima bust out my cap’n crunch whistle and get my phreak on

20 GOTO 10

matt h wrote:

god help you Shakespeare.

Ashley jacksson wrote:

This Makes Absolutly No Sense What So Ever!!! And Its To Long also…It Needs To Be MOre Short And To The Point!! Nobody Wants To Read This!!!!

KC wrote:

HCI. Good.

The end.

philart wrote:

and one more
Users have freedom to press
Ctrl + Alt + Del

steve szoczei wrote:

freakin hilarious….

baibe-d wrote:

tom chi, look at you p-hee
I said sit your ass back down you dirty ass clown
your nothing to me, hearing about you makes me
wanna pee.
who are you to me, some bloke in brok down trainers and fake bumper jacket

Tom Chi wrote:

Baibe-d, Yo you got no finesse
dropping rhymes that show no intellect
for those who follow flows know De La said it best
“Take it Off” ‘cause clothes won’t make your rap stand the test

To be honest your weak rhyme can’t follow me
to say nothing of your predilection for scatology
You need a lyrical pathologist to extract that wackness
and quarantine it properly before you show your lack of practice.

baibe-d wrote:

wanna step to me like you know baibe-d
wanna test me? just wait and see

juvunile wrote:

tom chi, u think ur my worst nightmare
cause ur so rubbish u fight unfair
cause i’m gonna erase ur personality
so best know this now,this is reality

dj mad killer wrote:

yo tom chi u mother ****** u wanna step up 2 baibe-d then u trippin.

pass me my AK so i can **** yall up, my name is dj killer so yo wats up im the baddest i feel killing ill for real with a tom chi bounty in hand, yo, you know the deal. im just killing with a gun in hand it so heavey i can hardley stand my targets in my fac, and my guns all around it so stand to the side and watch me drop it, so take to the head without feeling no guilt so if i was u i wouldn’t **** with me when im on tilt cause I’m a funky dope brother who just won’t stop
And I like to kill till bloods to the last drop.

this song is dedicated to tom chi.
ur times up mother ******

Tom Chi wrote:

guns guns guns
hos hos hos
senseless blustering
no flow.

Seriously, is this your full extent of your talent and creativity? Of course hiphop has had violent lyrics in the past, but it also has powerful creative strands and great potential for intellect. The rhymes you kids are dropping are one-dimensional and show no flow finesse.
The idea behind the battle is to display/improve your skills. I haven’t replied to the last few because no one has said anything interesting.

Battles like this:
rapper1: I’ll kill you!!
rapper2: Nah man, ima kill you! I got like 500 9’s!


All the great battles of the past have had the players build on each others ideas, quoting segments of lyrics and intellectually challenging each other, even when there were violent undertones. At their best, these battles achieved the sort of one-upmanship which was true of quoting and trading 4’s in jazz. All you kids got is violent overtones, but no ideas.

I don’t want to diss too hard, since everyone needs to start somewhere… but for real: you guys need to go back and listen to tapes of the famous battles, there is a lot more in it beyond guns, ammo, and bleeped out lyrics.

baibe-d wrote:

yo tom chi!
what kidda name is that?
I can take a wild guess that u smell of crap
who’s speaking?
who that?
not me.
I come down like snow
spit words that flow
spitting words u don’t even know

Tom Chi wrote:

Alright… that’s a little bit better. It still doesn’t quite work because you didn’t actually drop any words I didn’t know.

How about something more like this:

I come down like snow
silent but then you buried
best get some serious medical attention
not some ish from the apothecary

Dropped words you don’t know
cause I got polyglot tendencies
building verbal geometries
that stab sharp polygons into thee

Honestly, people, I’m not trying to just hate on your crew. You probably got some talent, but all I ask is that if you want to bring it to a battle, that you really bring your mind as well as your flows.

I’ve decided to give your crew two more chances to drop a rhyme which is compelling and worthy of a battle response. If you fail, Ima delete the entire thread. If you suceed, we’ll all probably get to learn something and to sharpen our skills.

Since this site is about teaching people, Ima drop a little bit of knowledge about rhyme writing:

1) Find a message and develop it through a couple lines. 1-line taunts are for playschool raps.

2) Make use of internal rhyme and half rhyme. Most of the developments in rap delivery in the last 20 years have focused on changes in what could be rhymed. In old-school you have primarily whole rhyme appearing mostly at the end of lines:

“Have you ever went over a friends house to eat
And the food just ain’t no /GOOD/?
The macaroni’s soggy, the peas are mushed,
And the chicken tastes like /WOOD/.”

In more modern raps, you have more internal rhymes (i.e. rhymes within a line), and more half rhyme (via assonance and consonance):

“Who’s st/ICK/ing to the s/CRI/pt like pistol /GRI/p?
X/ZIB/it, tra/DIT/ion of X-cellence”

The vowel sound of the “I” carries the rhyme and allows for more complex rhythmic effects within a line.

3. Consider the power of meter. Maybe you learned that Shakespeare put his work to iambic pentameter. The idea is true of modern rap artists, for example Bone Thugs and Harmony created the stutter rap which has a strong 1/16th note pulse behind it. That technique was later adopted in the ‘dirty south’ but at slower tempos and with more flexibility in terms of rhyming over the bar line. For each rapper that you admire, there are approaches that they have to meter that you can learn from and create new ideas off of.

4) Just a note on form… break things up into lines the way they might map to measures of a song. This helps people understand what the intention of your flow was. Line breaks are a big topic in poetry generally, which rap and hiphop are a form of. The only instance where you might break this rule is if you are doing a sort of slam/stream-of-consciousness style rap. Those are typically held together by the internal rhyme effects I talked about above.

Alright. That’s enough information for now. If you peeps want to learn more, you can ask and I’ll share whatever knowledge I can. Until then, you got two more chances to bring something worthwhile.

dj mad killer wrote:

tom chi u think ur tough i’l show u rough im here to call ur bluff ive had enough im here to put an end to your wack lame skills and trill. coz im the drilla da killer of hip hop. so stop ur lame rhymes coz they anit wit da times.

Tom Chi wrote:

Alright mad killer, at least you started taking some advice. The rhyming is a little better this time, but overall, it counts as strike one. You got no line breaks, no development, a bunch of unsubstantiated taunts… at least you made use of internal rhyme - a definite improvement.

Anyway, I’ll respond to this one, even though it is a ’strike’:

Mad Killer:
Like you said so yourself, you “da killer of hiphop”
because you dropped some inoperable ish that brought the beat to a stop
now you shocked cause your crew won’t come in defense of you
but the whole genre collapsed being near someone as dense as you
I gave you a cheat sheet and some of the answers too
and offered two chances to drop verses ‘fore I censor you
but sadly you came back with “anit wit da times?”
only a nitwit could construct such a rhyme
You lucky I flipped it to an instructional session
But you got one try left: then that’s the end of the lesson
See, I ain’t mad at your crew ‘cause you can’t battle yet
but you best protect your rep before you can’t salvage it.

grandmaster_bg wrote:


Before I break off a verse
i wanna pause before ramblin on
because the shoulders of giants
is where this post standin on

So let’s comply to the spec
and inherit the class
from the man stuck out his neck
the first-order object
commander: HCI ops
let’s give TC some respect

seems like you knee-deep in code cats
got something to hold to
you’re threadsafe by induction
any GUI will do
but of course HCI
might have somethin to say back:
“yo, the user will deadlock
without a cognitive walk, jack”

But the core of the matter
that i come to discuss
it ain’t the front or the back end
rather the longer focus
C64 commodore
up to HAL it’s an odyssey
but i wanna peek and a poke
at the goal of our journey

cuz what i see through my hands
as my skin turns translucent
both sides in the battle
button pressin’ but clueless
that we’re pawns in the game
of a ruthless controller
more efficient than SCSI
a capitalist ayatollah

and what’s my new codebase?
i say take this one global, feel?
at least out the machine room
and see the world in base real

so i dedicate this rhyme
to nerdbombin’ for world peace
let’s step to the mic y’all
and check in a new release


3-D wrote:

I’m here to challenge your intelligence & to put you through a humiliating silence in front of all your fans thats sitting in the audience…
So i’m sorry ladies & gentlmen,but all your hopes & dreams to ever see TOM CHI go up aginst another MC like me is very unlikely…
Coz the lines i spit is true underground lyrics & once you hear it you’ll know who has more of a high dominance with the most deadly lyrics & with the most dangerous intelligence that will leave you breath-less, coz you’ve just witness an uderground ledged being process & becoming the greatest lyricist until the time of apocalypse

Tom Chi wrote:

3D… you speak of intelligence
but then demonstrate none of it
some great lyricist: your vocab can’t come near to this
funky empiricist and quick witted scientist
building alliances twixt music and mindfulness
energizing thoughts to unknown valences
I saw your weak retorts get impaled on my phallanxes

Now let’s disect what you said in your diss:
crowd silent - people breathless — what can we make of this?
My hypothesis is that you can’t hear a sound
‘cause you live in a vacuum where you the dopest MC around
come back down to reality and you’ll see your true place
at back of the pack collapsed when the audience laughs in your face
and half-assed posts to a website won’t make
you any more respected lest you got wack friends in the first place
you want to show your flow by trying to battle me?
post up a link we’ll listen to your MP3

I know that you wont; cause your “intellect” don’t scare me
you’re not ‘underground’: your lyrics is just dead and buried.

Tom Chi wrote:

The more that sub-par challengers post, the more I appreciate the quality that MC:NP brought to the thread.

Notice how he wrote coherent verses in a structure that let people understand his flow. Also note how he dissed my field (human-computer interaction) while bragging about his own (applied mathematics of optimization). He demonstrated his intellect with references to non-polynomial problem spaces, Knuth, and (in his own rhyme) simulated annealing.

I guess the lesson is: if you got the intellect, show it. Are you an expert in neurobiology? Political Science? Do you spend your time contemplating epistemological condundrums? I’m definitely interested in hearing what smart people say in rhyme. (Check out Grandmaster_bg for another example of good rhyme writing).

If you are just posting to say that you got a lot of guns, or that you are the best rapper for unsubstantiated reasons, or even that you are smart (but don’t bother prove it via your rhyme writing), then don’t bother.

3-D wrote:

I can tell by your lyrics that you have what it takes to be a true lyricist…
Coz your Hip-Hop ability has too much experience for me to try & compete,So i’m throwing up my white flag & admitting to my defeat.

But before i leave:
I wanna give you some respect & to say thanx for the helpful tips/comments that you left…
Coz those anti-septic lyrics made it my obligation to practice more on my lyrics.

You also asked if i was an expert in those things?
Nah man,I’m a high sku dropped out “thats only 16″…
But i memorized most of the dictionary & i’m trying to develop skills so i will have an expertise…

So i’ll battel you next time or whenever i see you put down a new rhyme– so till next time.

Tom Chi wrote:

Good luck with your rhyme writing endeavors, 3D. If you’re only 16, you got plenty of years to bring all that enthusiam together into your own style. Keep learning and reading the dictionary and remember to look for meaning, not just definitions.


Sixpawz wrote:

You claimin’ *non* polynomial? Son, best check your facts–
Last I looked, we don’t know that PH won’t collapse!
Sure most oracles say No but there’s some screamin’ YES,
So you’d best wait and see ‘fore you start cashing bets

Me I’m EXPSPACE man, I’m harder than go
Decidable sure, but still you’ll never know
But yo, slow my roll, I didn’t come here to dis
so let me flow a little something like this…

HCI? Algorithms? Yeah that shit sure ain’t wack
But just remember the ones who always got your back
Even Tog ain’t the mack with no Mac to be hackin’ on
Without hardware you’d all just be yakkin’ and yakkin’ on.

Sure I may hold it down for the software side now,
but I put in my time punching Verilog cows
You got an O of n sort now? How fast do you reckon
It’ll run when your pagefaults all take twenty seconds?

So when you’re chillin’ at STOC with your crew and your girl
Just remember that hardware’s what revolves the world

MC:NP wrote:

Woah! Looks like in between my postings
all that’s going on is boasting.
Time to bring it back
pop off that crap from your stack
Settle down with some beats
and listen hard to the geeks…

I’m gonna lift clauses from comrade Sixpawz’s
oration on hardware and card computation.
For all of our bluster bout how we rhyme faster
we’re only as good as the chips we can muster.

That’s the propaganda I’m about so slander
We can get rid of hardware right now: take a gander
at my new brave world: you might find it pretty
it’s a time/space whorl I call Permutation City.

If you think I’ve gone Wachoswkian
Please wash out your mouth again
It’s like saying the bible was Jack T Chick’s
if you think those ideas weren’t all Phillip Dick’s.

You’ve got to think outside your own closed loop
What’s happening down in our quantum soup?
The atoms that are whirring inside my own head
are working on problems that leave us for dead.

Someday, when we get there, we’ll see what’s unfurled…
a command line, a prompt, and a program: SimWorld.

(Sorry for my lame rapping this time, I mostly wanted to rant about sci-fi.)

my:dentity wrote:


I was explaining to Ben what a meme was (something I only really learnt not long before). Meme, pronounced MEE-m, is a word derived from gene, as in biology. Basically it’s a social phenomenon that has the same properties as…

Anil Dash wrote:

Blog Songs

Having followed a number of weblogs for half a decade now, it’s an appropriate time for me to reflect on…

8ball wrote:

Hey man why did u take my comment off u know i was only telling the truth.
any way give me a few lines & balls 2 spit it hurts when i piss on mc’s//heres a tip, quit while u still got the chance//u cant become a zoologist because u didn’t get the grade in biology u can still become elves presely & rule the rap industry //claiming ur a geek//2 me ur just a freek//nobody cares about ur complicated ryhme style/ ur just another crack rapper out of style.

dis is dedicated 2 TC sorry ass

Kevin Cheng wrote:

As Tom said:

To all would-be haters: I figured out some way to let you say your piece and still keep it interesting for the readers. If you’re going to drop a comment about how you got mad MC skills (or that we have none), then you better do so in rhyme. Anything less will be deleted.

Yours and the couple of comments previous to yours didn’t follow this so I nuked them. To be honest, given how much the majority of these comments lower the overall IQ of the entire site, I have a mind to just close the comments altogether for this thread.

rocky wrote:

yo this no copyright u gonna killed tonight ill make ya light send ya home with a big fright u think ya bad when ya rapping & hacking allu doing is clapping becuse u crap

from a 11 years old

rocky wrote:

i m goona slash and gash ya cut another hole up ur face i spill ur blood onthe wal and then play tennis with ur balls if the phone rings dont answer the call im gonna slitur throat openand kill ya like a goat peel ur skkin of and make ur self a winter coat peace! geeks u just weak .

Tom Chi wrote:

Rocky, your rhymes are playschool like Pocky
talking all violent without a bit of coherence
don’t make me call your parents about this inherent
lack of social adjustment —
Your only 11, but you sound like you just went
to death row and back, but I can’t really tell
You’re either a wannabe, or you need some serious psychological help

In either case, your rhyme style just don’t make the cut here
if you got no knowledge to drop then take your blustering elsewhere
dropping 4 lines that threaten death by murderous weapons
is pretty useless in the grand scheme of worthy life lessons

but if you want build rhyme skills that are true to the core
try threatening some cats at the freestyle board
( )
give it a month and see where you stand
and if you learn some humility, It’ll be good for man.


Unknown wrote:

Im lookin at niggas wit the eye of the beholder/ look over my shoulder and see a nigga wit a blunt and holder, i got shells to fill wit the beef from them haters make my name known wit a 45 about the same age as yo folks.

deepfrost wrote:

hehe, finally had the chance to check it out…
great jobs guys, find it well funny, esp to hear you rap KC LOL

8ball wrote:

KC quotes:MC skills (or that we have none), then you better do so in rhyme:look are u blind maybe u need some glasses like ur man TC. please u scream & quiver betweens the knees. delete this tread bcause ur scared,bcause know i pack punches like judge dread. u anite got the skills 2 mach u need to go 2 the doctors 2 get an i patch. infact u lack the knowledge 2 b on news coverage.I here 2 bother like the brat danny glover,when i explode its like a supernova,its over.

The BlogFather wrote:

Blog Songs

We as bloggers have come a very, very long way! I mean, we don’t have any blogging sitcoms yet (we do however have a Blog reality show however) but I wouldn’t be suprised if someone did create one! So no…

The BlogFather wrote:

Blog Songs

We as bloggers have come a very, very long way! I mean, we don’t have any blogging sitcoms yet (we do however have a Blog reality show however) but I wouldn’t be suprised if someone did create one! So no…

Greg (Old "I'm talkin elementary" Skool) G. wrote:

I can attest to Tom Chi’s old skool creds’
He was hacking before most of you were sleeping in beds.
Tom, this song is great; what is new with you?
The rest of y’all, don’t mess with Liang Yu!

rocky wrote:

tom chi u the best at rapping .


Hak Gwai wrote:

im da best rapper bitchz!

Hak Gwai wrote:

im da best rapper bitchz!

8ball wrote:


Eric Svoboda wrote:

W00-HOO! Amazing!

Oluseyi wrote:

Why wasn’t this ever in the mailings?! I’m just finding out about a three-month old battle now?

Just. Not. Right.

Too late the join the cypher. Props to Tom Chi, MC:NP and Grandmaster_bg. Not bad. (Not *good*, but not bad.)

enterFrame wrote:

World’s first HCI Rap

Oh Yeah!!!…

Ejaz Asi wrote:

Extremely hilarious. It reminds us that laughing once in a while at what we do is as much fun as doing what we do, no? Thanks for the laughs :)

Word on the street wrote:

Happy Birthday!

My first post in almost a year!! Happy birthday to my big brother Kevin. In the past year, he’s (1) successfully completed his MSc. in HCI (though, AFAIK he’s waiting for confirmation that he did indeed pass), (2) helped create…

Ken wrote:

I like the rhymes alot.But check it.

Yo I’m a little violent so u know I’m killin’.And I blow yo a** up like the Twin Towers Buildin’.And yes I do carry a gat so u bout 2 get jacked lets see how u like it wit 8 bullets in ya back.

Swirl wrote:

I got a little secrete I want to share with you. IWhen I write, I can write in an hour or two, and come up with a hit, I’m serious. You’ll be seein me soon on mtv. I write out a page, full of words, different words like ex. : (game)(united)…. Well, I look in a really big book, not like the bible or a dictionary, just a book, and find an awesome word, and I use it to make an awesome song…Just try it

deep blue wrote:

respect from greece!!!what about battle?

Matthieu wrote:

This is off the FUCKIN hook BITCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

unraveled wrote:

Music Notes

I love music. However, I don’t talk about music very much on unraveled because I rarely have much to say…

joe wrote:

A brilliant piece. Really.
Small correction, though: Being from the South, I know how to spell the contraction of “you all”–and it’s my mission to help others understand: the contraction is “y’all” as opposed to “ya’ll.”


Anonymous wrote:


gjliup;g wrote:


Sniper Glee wrote:

hey hey,

shout out to tom chi,
son u flow with ability,
with finess and versatility,
most that battle just wanna be

like you, and like me
i wont diss unless you incourage me
hack your .com and http
viruses residing in your pc

watch them jump out your screen,
little and green,
hijack your calculator to find out the meen,
seeing triangles like a pithagarus dream

so HCI and UCD
Humor Concours Internally
first at the seen like a repoter
im a Unprotected Computor Destroyer

I could use long words that would leave you disturbed,
disorientated confused and perterbed,
but i think silence says the loudest word
no matter what your skin clour race or curd

peace and respect

srah blah blah wrote:

I freaking HATE Mike Celestino

Songs To Wear Pants To is a website where the musician will write a song based on any input you give him. They’re actually surprisingly good and fun… I’m finding song #0126 addictingly catchy. I’ve put in a request for…

Derrick barnhill wrote:

Dont step up to us
when I beat your ass you start to fuse
I’am on the way taking the bus you on the ground
with your face crust
y’all think this is a game
I have you walking with pain
I get my boyz to blow your brain
when I take your girl and spiting game

Anonymous wrote:

i hate you

philly wrote:

yo shout out to my gurl KAYLA AND $pickka$o… WELL I just want to say i love you gurl you are my home gurl and if anything would to happen to you i dont think i would be abel to live and $picka$o i just siting in school thinking if i should make that pick but me and you are mad tight and i dont want to fuck up are friend ship well i love you guyz and i would do anything for you welll words are running short peace out love 1*………*


philly wrote:

Hey it me again PhIlLy (aka) Felicia well this goes to JaY JaY damn this kid has it all ladies well dosent madder well here it is and yo gurlz dont be biting off my shit (* The First Time I Ever Saw You I Thought You Were Really Hot But When I Really Got To No You Your Really Fucken Not*) ~~~~*Peace out love 1*~~~~


I’m Down With E. Tufte (Yeah, You Know Me!)

A couple of people have asked me to explain exactly what it is I do for a living. KC and…

cash advance wrote:

By 1980 we knew cash
it was time to renew our faith, to strive with all our
strength toward   ultimate in individual freedom, consistent with an
orderly cash

warren wrote:

Thank you for the great site!  If you have the time check out these as well. my site

warren wrote:

Thank you for the great site!  If you have the time check out these as well. my site

Phillys Most Wanted wrote:

Yeah Da People Who Hatin On Da Otha Peoples Raps Iz BOGUS..Dawg Take Yall Tyme Out And FOCUS…You Think Yall Betta Den People But All You Do Iz Sell Beepas…Yall Im Out Cuz I Cant Rap Eitha

Naw Wassup Doe Dis Ya 100% GURL Aniyah How Yall Be Im 14 So Holla At Da Jawn All Krazy

Aniyah wrote:

Yeah Im Gettin Tired Of People Alwayz Hatin On Ma Rhymes Its Makin Me Sick// I Kno You B All On Ma NUts If I hAD a diCk//So Dawg Jus ChIll// I knO Sum Of Ma RhMes WouLD pRoLLy Kill//So Jus FalL BaCk AnD tAkE Dat PiLl//ReLax Dawg ITs Jsu WoRdz// i dun wanna HavE yO hEad SpInNin aND yO fLYin Like a BiRD…..


lildee wrote:

man tom chi you aint no battle to me
aint no way you can stand a chance freesyling dee
now if you step out of line im gone put you in yo place. got the freaking choppa that will make yo body dont make no sense you sound lam.when i catch you im gone split yo brain
if you find what you do.this a freestyle you rapping like u two.

youngster wrote:

when i walk threw the club all eyes on me cause im dress so fresh from head to my feet lildee on my right and on my left is macT da girls started choosing cause the diamonds in teeth i aint ridin on dubs i aint flexing in these streets im on the grind every day whats yo block with out me whats the hood with out dee heard u got a gat but steal got jack for your jeep cause you aint no real boy tom chi

da king wrote:

what kind of name is sniper gee
that junk lam he need to take you off this website you busta you lame cous get yo weight up and tell yo mama to laME

lildee drake wrote:

this is some stupid stuff tom chi man when can you give me some of those tight flows cause im trying to come up but i need a little bit of help please

lildee drake wrote:

what you think this is

what you think this is ill buss yo brain i aint no ps2 so i dont play no games
so when i click back and it is going to be some danger
cock back 2 times and 20 in da chamber
im thirteen,and im bucking 22times
im young but i stay scrapped with 22 nines
so what you thank this is its yo boy lildee
And when i get some flows im gone say i got advice from yo boy tom chi.

Mizta Nize Geye wrote:

Yo This Site Is fucked Da Nize Geye stumbled on this shit with luck so git da fuck up and listen as i proceed with my vision that i’ve been given

My flow sticks to your brain like a china man on rice Dont be jealous fellas just cuz i slid dick up inside your wife/i knew what she liked yea the unsigned white hype with a mic got that bitch to bite/before it went down that pussy was so tight. then i had to eat it up beat it up shit started heatin up until she told me the only words that could scare me/i got three kids and im married but i think your so big you just popped my cherry. i told this ho im half way buried 3 feet under already/i aint trying to stick around for left over spaghetti plus i knew she was challenged just not mentally ready/i said im out you fucking skank theres no going steady/she stabbed me with a shank/grabbed my neck tried to drown me in a fish tank/suddenly my music somehow got cranked up so loud i woke up and said wow is it all over now. -SO everybody out there tell what u think of my lyricism and hit me back with a reply Peace Out

Pinks wrote:

This is a coooooool song I have ever heard…I guess more people should hear them…

The music is kool and has lots of information related to Usability and the work UID’s do….I have forwarded the music to my co-workers and I’m sure they are injoying as much as I did…can we have some monthly songs like this :)

Keep you the good work Yo!!!

Anusha wrote:

You have to publish a video for this. This is too good not to have a video.

Chris McEvoy wrote:

I hope you guys don’t sue me, but I have published my “Usability Review of a VCR” on YouTube and have used half of HCI Rap as a backing track.

Faavae fat (1) wrote:

diz iz @#$%^&n gogeous

heal me n I sue U


Swiffer Printable Coupons 2011 wrote:

Find Printable Swiffer coupons

[…]listed below are a few references to internet pages we link to because we think these are seriously worth checking out[…]

Leave a Reply

OK/Cancel is a comic strip collaboration co-written and co-illustrated by Kevin Cheng and Tom Chi. Our subject matter focuses on interfaces, good and bad and the people behind the industry of building interfaces - usability specialists, interaction designers, human-computer interaction (HCI) experts, industrial designers, etc. (Who Links Here) ?