He conquered the United States in September, is just back from a hugely successful trip to Africa … and now Pope Francis is an unlikely inspiration for rappers around the world.
And it is all thanks to an AFP photograph that has gone viral on social media.
Gianluigi Guercia’s snap of Francis speaking during a visit to a camp for displaced people in Central African Republic on Sunday captures the 78-year-old pontiff in classic rapper pose.
Holding his microphone in his right hand with his fingers wrapped around the top of it, the pontiff holds out his left hand horizontally, as if counting out beats.
Twitter-wits have had a field day with the image, making up thousands of imaginary papal rap lyrics under the hashtag #popebars.
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) December 1, 2015
Most were irreverent but tinged with affection, reflecting how Francis has successfully crafted an image as both likeable and a bit cool with his modest personal style and his efforts to make the Church more relevant.
One of the best was posted by @_2pee.
It read: Biblically I’m on fire/Lyrically I inspire/So one day when I retire/Heaven is all I require.
@FloydSupreme offered: “God had a mixtape/he named it the Bible/Jesus had a rap crew/called it the disciples.
What most of the rappers may not have realized is that the slightly stooped, MC-style stance Francis adopts in Guercia’s image is the product of chronic back pain caused by sciatica.
‘Clear and present racism’: MSNBC’s Morning Joe and Mika say Kellyanne Conway should have been ‘fired on the spot’ for slurring reporter
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were astonished by Kellyanne Conway's response to a reporter asking about President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four first-year lawmakers.
The White House senior adviser asked Breakfast Media White House correspondent Andrew Feinberg, who is Jewish, about his ethnicity after he asked Conway what countries Trump was telling the Democratic congresswomen to return.
"I won't draw any parallels with any fascist countries, but what happened yesterday in a press gaggle has nothing to do with the United States of America," Scarborough said, "and in any other administration over the past 240 years, a person that did what Kellyanne Conway did yesterday would have been fired on the spot. By the time she left the press gaggle and went back into the White House, they would have already packed up her belongings and would have told her leave by the back door and never talk to us again."
Elon Musk shows off progress on brain-machine interface
Futurist entrepreneur Elon Musk late Tuesday revealed his secretive Neuralink startup is making progress on an interface linking brains with computers, and said they hope to begin testing on people next year.
Musk has long contended that a neural lace meshing minds with machines is vital if people are going to avoid being so outpaced by artificial intelligence that, under the best of circumstances, humans would be akin to "house cats."
Musk and members of the Neuralink team laid out progress they have made on their mission at an event held in San Francisco to recruit talent in software, robotics, neuroscience and more.
Two Texas Republicans in Congress were outraised as national Democratic offensive kicks off in Texas
Two potentially vulnerable Texas Republicans in Congress were outraised — and a few others saw seriously funded challengers — as the first major fundraising deadline passed in a cycle where national Democrats have built an expansive battlefield here, targeting six seats.
In the second quarter, Rep. Pete Olson, R-Sugar Land, fell short of Democratic challenger Sri Preston Kulkarni, $378,000 to $421,000. Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Coppell, raised less than Democratic opponent Kim Olson, $225,000 to $279,000, before making a large loan to his campaign. And a few other GOP incumbents posted strong numbers — but so did Democrats running to unseat them, in a couple cases outpacing the officeholders after they entered the race mid-fundraising cycle.