Article Lead Image

Epic rap battle drops the mic on net neutrality

The FCC's net neutrality proposal is wiggity wack.


Fran Berkman


Posted on May 26, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 6:14 am CDT

Net neutrality can be a tough concept to grasp. Not only that, but the term itself sounds so boring, it could put even its most ardent supporters to sleep. Which is why the fight for net neutrality is in dire need of some spicing up. That’s where this comedic rap video about net neutrality from YouTube‘s Juice Rap News comes in. (Warning: The video contains a bit of NSFW language.)

The video lays out the advocate’s case for net neutrality, describing it as a “sacred concept” that’s responsible for making the Internet “so cool and epic.”

Tim Berners-Lee, who’s widely known as the inventor of the World Wide Web, is portrayed in the video as a sort of Willy Wonka-esq character, who sings the praises of the Internet like Wonka evangelized candy.

WIthout naming him specifically, the video takes a shot at Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler. Though Wheeler has continuously vowed to protect net neutrality, many advocates were less than thrilled with the FCC’s “Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet” proposal, unveiled at the Commission’s May 15 meeting.

One of the video’s most clever moments comes when the rappers combine the concept of ARPANET, the Internet’s predecessor, and apartheid, the former South African segregation system, to form the Internet service providers’ “fast lane” vision for Internet of the future: APARTNET.

If you’re new to the net neutrality conversation and don’t quite get all the jokes, this glossary of key phrases, concepts, and players will help you decode the video.

Screenshot via thejuicemedia/YouTube

Share this article
*First Published: May 26, 2014, 3:08 pm CDT