The Rap of Evolution

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Saturday, July 25, 2009 | Published in

Meet Baba Brinkman, a Canadian rapper and pioneer in a relatively new genre called Lit-Hop. A genre that takes the hard grittiness of Political Rap and adds a PhD to it. Or in Baba's case a Master's in Medieval and Renaissance English Literature with a thesis comparing hip-hop to literary poetry. He followed that up with a theater show called "The Rap Canterbury Tales" where he rapped Chaucer's work with a hip-hop beat.

This year he switched it up a bit. He decided to celebrate Charles Darwin's 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of "On the Origin of Species" by doing an entire show on evolution. It's not often that you will hear a rapper sampling a bit of a Richard Dawkins' speech but Baba pulls it off nicely. He also does a great job of reappropriating other rap songs like Mobb Deep's "Survival of the Fittest" to explain evolutionary psychology and Biggie Small's "Hypnotize" to explain sexual selection. If you want a sample of the show, check out the Naked Scientists podcast from July 16 when they recorded his performance at the Cambridge Darwin Festival.

Or hey look, I finally figured out how to embed MP3s:

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