The Canterbury Tales Remixed: Baba Brinkman’s New Album Uses Hip Hop to Bring Chaucer Into the 21st Century, Yo

Baba Brinkman, a self-pro­claimed “geek rap­per,” has a knack for com­bin­ing hip hop with seri­ous lit­er­a­ture and sci­ence. Last year, we fea­tured his Rap Guide to Evo­lu­tion, an homage to Charles Dar­win that he pre­sent­ed in New York City and TEDxS­MU. And, before that, we show­cased Brinkman tak­ing on “Pro­fes­sor Ele­men­tal” in a no-holds-barred British v. Cana­di­an Lin­guis­tics Rap Bat­tle. Fun stuff.

But Brinkman first made his name by stag­ing the The Rap Can­ter­bury Tales, a cre­ative attempt to bring Chaucer’s 14th cen­tu­ry sto­ries into the 21st cen­tu­ry. The show pre­miered at the Edin­burgh Fes­ti­val Fringe in 2004. Then, Brinkman, a Cana­di­an schol­ar of medieval lit­er­a­ture, per­formed his show in sec­ondary schools across Eng­land, before bring­ing his act to the Unit­ed States — to Off Broad­way — late last year, where he got some glow­ing reviews.

Above, we have Brinkman rap­ping the The Miller’s Tale, the sec­ond of Chaucer’s Can­ter­bury Tales, at Bede’s World, 2009. And now that we have you warmed up, we’re going to men­tion Brinkman’s new stu­dio album, The Can­ter­bury Tales Remixed, which brings his retelling of Chaucer’s tales to the wider world. You can pre­view his album online right here, and down­load orig­i­nal rap songs (in MP3 for­mat) for what­ev­er price you’re will­ing to pay. Or, find the album on iTunes for $9.99.

You can find The Can­ter­bury Tales (Chaucer’s ver­sion) in our Free Audio Books and Free eBooks col­lec­tions.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.