These Guys Made YouTube’s First Viral Rap Battle

1 min read

What do hip hop and economics have in common? Well, until host John Papola and Russ Roberts met following the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, there was very little overlap between those two topics.

John learned of Russ after listening to his popular podcast, EconTalk, which sent John down the economics rabbit-hole. This led to an unlikely collaboration between John, a filmmaker, and Russ, economist. In 2010, “Fear the Boom and Bust: Keynes vs. Hayek” debuted on YouTube and became an internet sensation, practically overnight. It was the first viral rap battle of its kind, predating the popular "Epic Rap Battles Of History" by over 8 months. This project ended up changing the course of John’s career, eventually leading to Dad Saves America.

In this episode of Dad Saves America, these two friends discuss their shared passions of economics, storytelling, Adam Smith, and emergent order. Russ recently published a book about thinking through the big questions in life called Wild Problems: A Guide to the Decisions That Define Us.

If you would like to listen to EconTalk, click here, and if you would like to purchase a copy of Wild Problems, click here.

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