UNT's Distinguished Lecture Series Presents GZA

Gary Grice, better known at GZA or The Genius, is a 49-year old American rapper and songwriter from Brooklyn. He is a founding member of the popular Staten Island hip hop group, the Wu-Tang Clan, and will be speaking at the University of North Texas on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 as part of the university's Distinguished Lecture Series.


GZA is a co-founder of the Science Genius program. The Science Genius program engages high school students in science through hip hop. GZA, himself, uses hip hop as vehicle for scientific and universal enlightenment.  After his TEDxTeen talk about Science, Fun Fun Fun Fest picked up Wu-Tang as a headlining act in 2015 (and we think their marketing campaign was heavily influenced off of the aforementioned scientific findings,  too).

The Science Genius program came from GZA's collaboration with Dr. Chris Emdin of Columbia University's Teachers College. GZA visits high schools, where students battle each other with science raps they write, as part of the Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S. initiative.

“The first rhyme i ever learned was the alphabet,” GZA says in his TEDxtalk.

GZA is the oldest member of the Wu-Tang Clan, and the first of any of the members to get a record deal with his 1991 solo debut Words from the Genius. The album came out 25 years ago to the date, tomorrow (February 19) and was later re-released in 1994 with the song “Come Do Me” replaced by “Pass the Bone.”

Ellysia Dierker, Coordinator for Special Projects within the Division of Student Affairs at the University of North Texas, coordinates and plans the DLS events with the assistance of the DLS committee. The DLS speaker lineup for the 2016-2017 Academic year will be announced in August.

“The objective of the Distinguished Lecture Series,” Dierker says, “is to provide the university and greater communities with a variety of distinguished lecturers and speakers that will bring significant interest, visibility and added prestige to the University of North Texas.”

In the past the DLS have brought in folks like Bill Nye the Science Guy, The Guerilla Girls, Vicente Fox, and Steve Wozniak. We cannot wait to see what the University of North Texas has in store for us for the 2016-2017 Academic year!