[youtube]http://youtu.be/TM7p_sE7aSQ[/youtube] In 1967, Lou Reed, with his band The Velvet Underground and Nico, famously sang “Heroin,” which troubled many listeners with its near endorsement-like treatment of the drug. Later, in the 1990’s, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails wrote the song, “Hurt,” which chronicled the massive emotional and psychological devastation left behind due to use of the drug. The song received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock Song in 1996, and was subsequently recorded by Johnny Cash as one of his final releases.

Over the several decades that pop culture and music have attempted to highlight the effects that heroin and other drugs have caused people the world over, none have addressed heroin in quite the way that College of Staten Island Psychology major and now YouTube rapper sensation Michael Stendardi has with “~Neuroscience Minds~.”

Stendardi’s award-winning music video needs your vote today to win a People’s Choice Award from Brainfacts.org.

By blending the strength of pop music as a vehicle for his message with his class’s knowledge of the chemical responses of the human brain to drugs, Michael, or “NeuroMic,” as his YouTube handle reads, hopes to make people aware of the brain’s response to these drugs.

The video, which Michael produced last spring as part of a class project for Dr. Dan McCloskey’s Physiological Psychology class, has already garnered great reviews and even earned Michael an award for “Best Song” from the 2014 Society for Neuroscience Brain Awareness video contest.

The project tasked students with making videos to teach the general public about the brain. In the video, Michael raps throughout the halls of the CSI Center for Developmental Neuroscience (CDN) describing the effect of drugs on the brain. A big part of that video was a poem by Michael about heroin and its effects on the brain.

Dr. McCloskey was impressed and told the class about the Society for Neuroscience Brain Awareness Video Contest and “Michael just took off with it,” exclaimed Dr. McCloskey. “It was almost as if he wrote the lyrics for this song overnight, but the accuracy of the information and quality of the rhymes shows that a lot of thought and research went into it.”

“Neuroscience is a strength at CSI,” Dr. McCloskey continued. “It’s nice to have an anthem.”

Michael then recruited his friend, Joe Ocasio, aka, “The Janitor,” who created all of the instrumentals and donated his time and video/audio producing expertise.

The quirky and catchy video has earned plenty of recognition since he posted it to YouTube this past August and he is now setting his sights on a People’s Choice Award from Brainfacts.org, which you can vote on here http://www.brainfacts.org/Educators/Get-Involved/Articles-Folder/Peoples-Choice. Voting ends on September 30.

The video, produced by @Janitorsbeats, can be watched in full here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=TM7p_sE7aSQ