Canadian “geek rapper” Baba Brinkman first garnered popular attention with a well-received, well-reviewed rap adaptation of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. (To get a sense of the project, check out this brief scene from “The Pardoner’s Tale.”) And we also previously featured his brilliant work on Macmillan’s What’s Your English? campaign.
Brinkman has brought his follow-up show, a fascinating homage to Charles Darwin called “The Rap Guide to Evolution,” to New York City, where it’s getting rave reviews. In the video above, he explains how he went about putting the project together, and how evolutionary science enriched his understanding of the violence and anger so prevalent in the music he loves. The whole talk is great, but if you want to start off with a taste of the rap itself, skip forward to minute 9:03.
Sheerly Avni is a San Francisco-based arts and culture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Weekly, Mother Jones, and many other publications. You can follow her on twitter at @sheerly.