Happy Birthday Dr. Gatling: An Original Gangsta's Playlist
This is the face that launched a thousand rap lyrics. You are looking at Dr. Richard Jordan Gatling, a mild-mannered inventor from the mean streets of Como, N.C., who started his career by inventing a screw propeller for steamboats, not knowing that someone else had patented one shortly before he completed his.
He spent most of his life quietly, teaching or owning stores while inventing various farming machinery. At one point he gained a medical degree, presumably so he could better visualize the full impact of his next invention. (He never practiced.)
Some inventors, upon hearing that more soldiers were dying of disease than by stopping rounds, would devote their lives to a developing medical technology to save lives. Not Dr. Gatling. He thought that the cure was more freakin' bullets. When the Civil War broke out, Dr. Gatling stroked his magnificent beard and said...
If I could invent a machine - a gun - which could by its rapidity of fire, enable one man to do as much battle duty as a hundred, that it would, to a large extent supersede the necessity of large armies, and consequently, exposure to battle and disease [would] be greatly diminished.
|Portability would come later.|
So in honor of the man we have to thank for massively multi-bullet volleys and approximately 80 percent of the rap songs in the world, here's a playlist.
Brand Nubian really got into the teachings of Malcom X in a big way, and accusations of hate speech followed them wherever they went. There's no doubt, though, that they knew how to throw down a good track, and they made a hell of a stand with their ode to defiance until the end with "Pass the Gat" from 1992's In God We Trust.
The baby killer and the rabies dealer himself, Brotha Lynch Hung is a widely successful independent horrorcore rapper. Underneath all the "motherfuckers" there are some pretty clever twists of phrase he can come up with on the subjects of guns and killing people in "Had 2 Gat Ya" from his debut album 24 Deep.