||  D o c t a b a r z  ||

Keith Cross, M.C. Ph.D

Lyricist. Scientist. Teacher. Brother.

music & Science for healthy Living


I conducted this research and presented it in this form to affirm the intelligence and humanity of HipHop Kulture's members---especially its Black originators, whose lives are still undervalued despite the worldwide popularity and influence of HipHop (and our other cultural contributions). Scientific knowledge of different cultures' contributions to human ability and capability can help members of our diverse society to see our cultural differences, not as justification for divides, but as part of a narrative of collective human progress. This video details an actual scientific investigation of neurological, linguistic and learning adaptation in expert rappers. I hope this knowledge inspires HipHoppaz to continue to thrive in our kultural practices, and inspires lovers of HipHop to love its creators as well. 

Written and Performed by Keith Cross, MC PhD (aka Doctabarz) 

Produced by Scott Ohtoro (https://zenburecords.bandcamp.com/)

Video by Gerard Elmore (https://vimeo.com/gerardelmore)

About doctabarz

I'm from a long line of tribes, scribes and oracles

Who baptize human minds when the horrors grow

We keep records of what the righteous ought to know

And put our prophecies in songs, so they're portable

                        --Doctabarz, "Ink-N-Bone" 

In my lifetime, I have witnessed Excellence diminished by Suffering, much more often than I have witnessed Suffering diminished by Excellence. Many of my loved ones, each uniquely beautiful and full of potential, have perished prematurely and unnecessarily...

...from bullets, cancer, diabetes---all preventable

but harder in a system that's sinful and reprehensible.

                        --Doctabarz, "The Elders, Ch. 2" 

So, I make music to inspire people towards Excellence in practices that help to diminish Sufferingto maximize our individual, community and environmental wellbeing. Many of the most revered spiritual volumes were the works of inspired poets, and included not only moral lessons, but information on diet and health, psycho-social wellbeing, romance, biological and physical sciences and related methods, economics, technology, and other useful topics. That’s what you’ll find here—a dynamic musical and scientific resource that draws upon my 30+ years as a lyricist and musician, 20+ years as an educator, 20+ years as a religion scholar, 10+ years as a scientist/researcher, and a lifetime of learning to thrive in the face of poverty, violence, and systemic oppression. 

Credentials: I have a Ph.D. in Education and a Ph.D. Minor in Linguistics from Stanford University, and a B.A. in Religion from University of Southern California. I am an inaugural Peace Studio Fellow (2022), and the former Assistant Professor of Multilingual and Multicultural Education at University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. As a Lyricist and Learning Scientist, I explore and leverage the ways lyricism (i.e., the composition and performance of song lyrics) is connected to humans' cognitive function and learning, and the maintenance of our social and environmental bonds. My musical works are informed by a neurocognitive perspective, a teaching and learning perspective, and from the perspective of a performer engaged in the work of Moving Crowds both physically and politically. 

recent music

 current project 


WHY THIS SONG? To educate and inspire families dealing with diabetes. I lost my father and two of my younger brothers to diabetic complications. All died young and unnecessarily. While battling my own prediabetes, I created the song Diabetes vs Discipline to end this deadly trend in my family and other communities!

MUSIC. Listen to the full Diabetes vs Discipline song here, including lyrics and other resources. 

MUSIC VIDEO FUNDRAISER. I'm making a music video to spread this message and need your support. Learn more/donate  here


Art: Music & Video 

Science: Research & Horizons

Community: Ways to Support/Get Involved


*Redirects to bonfire.com/doctabarz (Merchandise)